Almost two years ago, a bevy of board games were targeted for big-screen adaptations. Stretch Armstrong, Monopoly, Candy Land, Clue, etc. have all been in the development line towards big-screen adaptations, but recently (and on the heels of the release of Battleship) movement on the aforementioned projects has slowed. McG was set to direct an adaptation of the supernatural game Ouija, but Universal decided to pass on the project back in August. Hasbro continued to develop Ouija, and after numerous rewrites, the studio has now changed its mind and is now moving forward with a completely retooled version of Ouija for a targeted 2013 release.
Compared to McG’s previous $100 million Ouija, Deadline reports that this new version will be produced by Blumhouse Productions’ Jason Blum for a budget close to $5 million. Blum has made a name for himself with low budget/high profit films like the Paranormal Activity series and Insidious, and now it appears Universal plans to take that approach with Ouija. Hit the jump for more.
Deadline’s report notes that original producers Michael Bay, Brad Fuller and Andrew Form of Platinum Dunes are still onboard, but it sounds like it was Blum’s low-cost approach that piqued Universal’s interest. This approach certainly makes sense given the supernatural aspect of Ouija and the success of the small budget horror film genre. There’s no word on whether or not Ouija will be formatted to the ever-popular found footage craze, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they go that route.
I’m not exactly thrilled with the “turn every board game into a movie” mentality—and obviously the studios have their reservations as well, given that Battleship is the only adaptation that’s gone forward since the original Hasbro deal—but if any of the properties lend themselves to a movie it’s Ouija. The rules of the game are incredibly simple, and it’s not difficult to conjure up a ghost story on film. No plot details are given, and a director has yet to be attached, but given its 2013 release we’ll probably here more on the project soon.