Adam Sandler to Star in and Co-Write CANDY LAND for Sony

     January 31, 2012

Serious news alert: Adam Sandler is starring in the Candy Land movie. Hot on the heels of yesterdays news that Relativity will release a Taylor Lautner-free Stretch Armstrong in April 2014 comes word that Sony Pictures is in final talks to develop the Candy Land movie. The film was previously set up at Universal along with multiple other Hasbro board game movies, but the studio apparently realized this was a terrible idea and has been dumping Hasbro properties left and right. The only property they’re keeping is Battleship, which hits theaters this summer. Hit the jump for more, including what famous SNL scribe is writing the screenplay alongside Sandler.

Candy Land has actually been in development for quite some time. Enchanted director Kevin Lima is onboard to helm the project, and now Sandler and Robert Smigel are in talks to write the screenplay. Previous drafts have been written by Etan Cohen (Tropic Thunder), Chris Morgan (Wanted), and Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger (Kung Fu Pands) but it’s unknown if Sandler and Smigel plan to start from scratch. The original incarnation of the film was described as a live-action epic adventure that had the protagonists tasked with finding the lost king of Candy Land. Again, it’s unclear if they’ll retain this story or start anew. Sandler’s Happy Madison production banner is also onboard to produce the film.

I was actually a fan of Lima’s Enchanted, and had hoped that Candy Land might be in the same vein as that pic. Enchanted didn’t take itself too seriously, but maintained an air of charm and naïveté that I doubt Sandler and Smigel will be bringing to Candy Land. Their work tends to veer heavily into the goofy (they last paired up on You Don’t Mess with the Zohan), but maybe they’ve got a fun angle in store for for the film. Nevertheless, I’m still not entirely sure why we need a Candy Land movie in the first place unless it serves as a cautionary tale for childhood obesity. Read the full press release below.

CULVER CITY, Calif., January 31, 2012 – Columbia Pictures, Happy Madison and Hasbro, Inc. are in final talks to develop Candy Land, a live action movie based on the bestselling Hasbro board game with Adam Sandler attached to star, it was jointly announced today by Doug Belgrad, President of Columbia Pictures, Hannah Minghella, President of Production for Columbia Pictures, and Brian Goldner, Hasbro President and CEO.  Kevin Lima (Enchanted) is attached to direct the project for the studio with Sandler and Robert Smigel are in talks to write the screenplay.

Commenting on the announcement, Belgrad said, “Candy Land is more than just a game. It is a brand that children, parents and grandparents know and love. The world of Candy Land offers an extraordinary canvas upon which to create a fantastical, live-action family adventure film with a larger than life part for Adam. We are thrilled to partner with Hasbro and Happy Madison on this project.”

“The creative talent on board for this movie is amazing and we are excited to bring alive the world of Candy Land for kids and families everywhere,” Goldner added. “Sony/Columbia has been a wonderful creative partner as we develop another of our games, Risk, for the big screen. We are looking forward to working with Sony/Columbia and Adam Sandler and his team at Happy Madison Productions on this film.”

Candy Land is one of the most beloved and best known games of all time.  Created in 1949, it has been played by generations of families. In the game, players go on a magical journey through fantastical lands made of candy, sweets, and ice cream: the Peppermint Forest, the Gum Drop Mountains, and the Lollypop Woods.  Along the way, players encounter such iconic characters as Princess Frostine, Lord Licorice, Mr. Mint, and King Candy.

The project will be produced by Goldner (Transformers) and Hasbro’s Senior Vice President and Managing Director of Motion Pictures, Bennett Schneir (Battleship) along with Happy Madison Productions.  At Columbia, development of Candy Land will be overseen by Sam Dickerman.

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