According to The Hollywood Reporter, Hasbro is in talks with Michael Bay and Steven Spielberg to produce a fourth entry in the live-action Transformers franchise. Additionally, they are revamping the script for a movie based on the Ouija board “game” after Universal dropped the project, and plans are going forth with movies based on Micronauts, Candyland, Risk, Stretch Armstrong, Clue and Monopoly. Plus, of course, they have Battleship coming out next year.
I have a headache. I think it’s from slamming my head into the keyboard at the sheer absurdity of it all.
The third Transformers film effectively put a cap on the series, in my opinion. There aren’t a lot of things they can do with the franchise as it stands, without rebooting. I suppose they could always ape the animated movie and bring in Unicron and/or some form of Galvatron, but honestly, it would look a bit desperate. And if they’re going to continue the franchise, honestly I think I’d prefer a reboot at this point, and have somebody new take it in a new direction. While the Michael Bay films weren’t all bad, I’ve got to say I’m not enthused about the idea of another Transformers film where it’s hard to distinguish between the Transformers because they all look alike and few have enough lines to show a personality.
I suppose it would be possible to make a movie out of Stretch Armstrong, but I can’t help but think it’d be ridiculously goofy. Not that that’s inherently bad, but I’m just picturing them casting Owen Wilson in a wacky action comedy! with exactly that inept comedic tone throughout the whole process. You know that they’d either get him, or someone like him for it. Maybe Ryan Reynolds as a best-case scenario, and that’s not a very good case.
Micronauts is at least plausible as a film property, but I can’t say I have any emotional attachment to the franchise. I don’t think many people do, either. It might work, but they’ll have an uphill battle drawing an audience. Candyland, if they handle it right, will be an acceptable if insipid movie for the under-6 crowd (and absolutely unbearable to everyone else). I can see why they’d want to do it, but I can’t see why a studio would go for it. Besides, even your typical six-year-old gets bored with Candyland because it doesn’t pose enough of an intellectual challenge, and that’s before they can even spell “intellectual challenge”.
With the other projects, it seems like most of them would inevitably be “in name only” movies. There’s probably no way to make, for example, a Risk movie that is distinctively Risk and not just a war movie they slapped the Risk label on. As such, most of them will be good or bad entirely based on the concepts brought to the script. But given the starting points, I can’t hold out much hope (and the absurdity that Battleship is shaping up to be just bears this out.) Granted, Clue already has a movie, and that was fantastic. But all that means is that for this new Clue they’re going to be drawing comparisons to a movie they can’t possibly hope to equal. Just seems like a bad idea all around.
The interesting thing is, the very base concepts could possibly be adapted into decent movies, I just have no faith in their ability to do it, or their willingness to cut out potential sections of the audience in order to put the film in the genre it needs to be in. Risk will no doubt be a fairly brainless war action movie, with some charismatic soldiers fighting a single mission in a localized battlefield, but it would probably fit better as a military drama set in the war room instead of the front lines. Ouija would almost have to be a horror film, and while there’s more bad than good in the genre anyway, it’s unlikely to be a good horror film if they don’t go for the “R” rating — which seems unlikely for a toy company. I’m not sure what would work for Monopoly (minus a transparent Wall Street clone), but I’ve no doubt that what they’ll be going with is some sort of romantic comedy based on Rich Uncle Pennybags leaving somebody a fortune in real estate.
And, of course, Clue is already perfect. So they’ll probably just do a very weak copy of that.