Here’s a concept that just passed “Go.” Lionsgate says it is teaming with Hasbro to create a movie based on Monopoly, the board game developed more than a century ago to illustrate a Progressive critique of economic concentration. Lionsgate will finance the movie and co-produce it with Hasbro’s Allspark Pictures.
The screenplay will come from Andrew Niccol, whose credits include The Truman Show, Gattaca, and The Terminal. They say that this will be “a film for all ages, visually sumptuous, heartwarming, and full of action and adventure.” It will revolve around a “a boy from Baltic Avenue who uses both Chance and Community in a quest to make his fortune, taking him on a fun, adventure-filled journey. It’s about making your own luck, what makes you truly rich and, of course, avoiding Jail time!”
Lionsgate Motion Picture Group Co-President Erik Feig calls Monopoly “a signature brand …that has multigenerational appeal.” And Niccol “is an inspired choice to develop this timeless property into a big, crowd-pleasing event film that will appeal to kids, families and anyone who has ever played the Monopoly game.”
Hasbro Chief Content Officer Stephen Davis also says Monopoly is “one of the most popular games of all time, and it will translate into a film with tremendous global appeal and marketability.”
This isn’t the first time someone has tried to corner the market for a Monopoly film. In 2008 director Ridley Scott planned one about a fan of the game who’s magically imported into its world. Universal apparently objected to the underlying message: an attack on greed. Universal ended up scrapping its production deal with Hasbro. Then, three years ago, Emmett/Furla Films planned to finance and co-produce three films based on Hasbro properties including the board game.
The game and toy maker says that more than 1 billion people in 114 countries have played Monopoly, which has been translated into 47 languages.