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...But are there board games strong enough for other Universes?
Head in the Clouds
Updated: Monday, Feb 8, 2016

Hello, Chaz Marler from Pair Of Dice Paradise here, exploring the Universes of intellectual properties, and how some of them are even strong enough to be adapted to board games. The next logical question is whether there’s board game Universes strong enough to be adapted into other forms of entertainment, such as books, television or movies.

Now, the best example of a board game successfully being adapted to the big screen is probably 1985’s Clue, a cult classic that’s still discussed today. In fact, just last year, friend of the show and potential Chaz Marler arch nemesis, Jared Whitley, did a three-part series on board game movies; including an episode on Clue. Since Jared already covered Clue, I’ll respond to something else he mentioned in his series instead: “Hollywood probably won’t be looking to board games for future material… I don’t think you could make a movie about Uncle Pennybags, the dog, and their adventures at St. James Place.”

Well, Hollywood has accepted this challenge with an upcoming movie that is, in fact, based on Monopoly. And while it always fills me with joy to point out when Jared is wrong, I also can’t help but be concerned about what this steaming pile of cinema’s impact on the modern board game hobby could be.

At first, I was excited, because director Ridley Scott was attached to the film. And if it’s one thing that he can do, it’s direct people how to advance in a straight line, even when it may not be what’s in their best interest.

But then, Ridley Scott left the project, leaving it with its current premise: “A boy from Baltic Avenue uses both Chance and Community in an adventure-filled journey about making your own luck, what makes you truly rich and, of course, avoiding Jail time!”

Wow, that so totally couldn’t be the synopsis for absolutely every other movie ever made, ever. Heck, it sounds almost like a cheap Goonies ripoff. Which may be the case, because “the Goonies has already been name-dropped as the template for the Monopoly feature film in its present form.” So the Monopoly movie is pretty much an uninspired carbon copy of Goonies at this point.

So, it’s possible that the Monopoly movie is destined to suffer the same fate as other board game movies, such as Battleship and Ouija. Why are the majority of movies based on board game universes lackluster at best? Next time, we’ll continue with why I think that is. The answer may surprise you… but I doubt it will. It’s actually pretty obvious, now that I think about it. It’ll actually probably be a bit of a let down. Well, see you then!

Another, previous draft of the film was reportedly based on the non-fiction book The Monopolists: Obsession, Fury, and the Scandal Behind the World’s Favourite Board Game, detailing how “the game originated as anti-capitalist critique of monopolistic corporate greed, rather than a celebration of real estate avarice.” And continuing through the “Parker Brothers’ 1974 lawsuit against the inventor of a rival game titled Anti-Monopoly, created by San Francisco State university professor Ralph Anspach, a case which was eventually settled out of court.” ... So… you say your other idea is just to rip off Goonies? Alright, let’s go with that one.
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