There have been plenty of optioned films over the past few months that don’t make a lot of sense. Peter Berg will be directing a film based on Battleship, Michael Bay is producing Ouija, and Kevin Lima (Enchanted) is directing Candy Land. One other that has struck a “huh?” chord more than others is Ridley Scott’s directing of a movie based on the game Monopoly.
Scott, who is best known for directing such epic (and not family-oriented) films as Alien, Blade Runner and Gladiator, was supposedly sold on the film during a pitch meeting with Universal and producer Frank Beddor (There’s Something About Mary). In an interview with the LA Times, Beddor goes into detail on the pitch that got Ridley Scott so interested.
“I created a comedic, lovable loser who lives in Manhattan and works at a real estate company and he’s not very good at his job but he’s great at playing Monopoly. And the world record for playing is 70 straight days – over 1,600 hours – and he wanted to try to convince his friends to help him break that world record.
They think he is crazy. They kid him about this girl and they’re playing the game and there’s this big fight. And he’s holding a Chance card and after they’ve left he says, ‘Damn, I wanted to use that Chance card,’ and he throws it down. He falls asleep and then he wakes up in the morning and he’s holding the Chance card, and he thinks, ‘That’s odd.’”
Yes, this is all going where you think it is. Beddor continued:
“He’s all groggy and he goes down to buy some coffee and he reaches into his pocket and all he has is Monopoly money. All this Monopoly money pours out. He’s confused and embarrassed and the girl reaches across the counter and says, ‘That’s OK.’ And she gives him change in Monopoly money. He walks outside and he’s in this very vibrant place, Monopoly City, and he’s just come out of a Chance Shop. As it goes on, he takes on the evil Parker Brothers in the game of Monolopy.
He has to defeat them. It tries to incorporate all the iconic imageries — a sports car pulls up, there’s someone on a horse, someone pushing a wheelbarrow — and rich Uncle Pennybags, you’re going to see him as the maître d’ at the restaurant and he’s the buggy driver and the local eccentric and the doorman at the opera. There’s all these sight gags.”
From that fairly lengthy description, it doesn’t sound like this film will be any good at all, let alone worthy of Ridley Scott to sign on as director. When approached with negativity, Beddor only replies with “everyone had the same thoughts about a Pirates of the Carribbean film, and look how that turned out.” The problem here being that Pirates was based on a group of singing criminals, whereas Monopoly is based on a time consuming game with a shoe and a top hat. Good Luck with that.