Universal has dropped another board-game film adaptation from its groundbreaking six-year exclusive pact with Hasbro, sending Ouija into turnaround to join previous projects Clue, Monopoly and Magic, The Gathering. The Ouija film — which has McG attached to direct and Platinum Dunes partners Michael Bay, Brad Fuller and Andrew Form producing with Ian Bryce and Hasbro’s Brian Goldner and Bennett Schneir — will most likely be set up elsewhere, as will Clue, which is funded by Hasbro and is being produced by director Gore Verbinski’s Blind Wink shingle (see Universal Drops ‘Clue’; Gore Verbinksi Moves Forward With Hasbro Cash And New Writers). For Universal, the move is purely economics: Ouija is budgeted at north of $100 million and the studio has Oblivion, R.I.P.D., 47 Ronin, Safe House and Battleship — all big-ticket movies — already in its lineup. (Remember, it also said goodbye to the ambitious film/TV series hybrid The Dark Tower over cost concerns. Vulture is reporting that Universal was serious enough about the cost of Ouija that it is paying Hasbro a $5 million penalty for dropping it, as per terms of its 2008 mega deal with the toy giant.
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