EXCLUSIVE: Lionsgate and Hasbro’s live-action feature Monopoly is passing Go with Kevin Hart set to star and the actor’s Ride Along collaborator Tim Story due to direct. The hot package, inspired by the iconic board game, is in final negotiations, I understand.
Hart, John Cheng and Carli Haney will produce for Hart’s HartBeat Productions label. Story and Prince Of Peoria exec producer Sharla Sumpter Bridgett will produce for The Story Company. Hasbro is co-producing via its Allspark Pictures label with the company’s Brian Goldner, Stephen Davis and Greg Mooradian serving as producers.
Logline is being kept under wraps for now and a writer and shoot date have not been set. A previous version of the project centered on a young man from the game’s modest Baltic Avenue on a quest to make a fortune.
The Oscar hosting saga has been a forgettable episode for Hart in recent weeks but the number one stateside opening last weekend of The Upside was a reminder of his box office bankability. The Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle, Night School and Central Intelligence actor has become one of the most reliable comedy bets going with cinema-goers.
On paper this looks like another winning combo. Hart and Barbershop and Fantastic Four director Story have fruitfully collaborated on the Ride Along franchise as well as on three lucrative film versions of Hart’s stand-up shows. Seven of Story’s films have debuted number one at the box office.
Hasbro has been plotting a movie based on its hit board game — which has been played by an estimated one billion people in 114 countries — for at least a decade. The Truman Show scribe Andrew Niccol was attached to write a previous Lionsgate iteration of the project and another development was set up with Emmett/Furla in 2013 with Ridley Scott attached as a producer.
Hart’s HartBeat Productions recently produced comedy Night School and also produces TV series The Next Level and Hart Of The City on Comedy Central, and What The Fit on the Laugh Out Loud Network. Next out for Hart is The Secret Life Of Pets 2, which has a summer release. Next up for Story is New Line’s Shaft, starring Samuel L Jackson, also out this summer.
Hart is represented by UTA, 3 Arts and Schreck Rose Dapello & Adams. Story is represented by UTA and Ziffren Brittenham LLP.