Universal disappointed the movie blog community twice this year when it had to pass on Guillermo del Toro’s At the Mountains of Madness and the ambitious adaptation of The Dark Tower. But there’s another side to that coin—caution also led the studio to pass on oft ridiculed board game adaptations like Clue, Monopoly, and Magic: The Gathering. According to Vulture, you can add Ouija to that list now that Universal has paid a $5 million penalty to Hasbro to back out of the development deal. Producer Michael Bay and director McG (Terminator Salvation) will shop the project—envisioned as a big-budget family fantasy—to other studios next week . Paramount might seem like the natural candidate, given their previous success with Bay and Hasbro on the Transformers series. However, Vulture hears the studio passed on the proposal. Maybe this thing really is dead. Who, other than McG, would mourn the passing of the Ouija movie directed by McG?
Universal hasn’t abandoned all Hasbro properties just yet. Battleship is scheduled for release in summer 2012, the first true test of the viability of these movies amid the modern rush to adapt board games. And as far as we know, Universal is still working on Stretch Armstrong with Taylor Lautner and a Candy Land movie, though neither project seems as safe as it did yesterday.