Universal Pictures seems to be tired of playing games.
First, the studio pulled the plug on a new film based on the Hasbro board game “Clue” (which was successfully adapted in 1985). Now “Ouija,” a planned feature based on the spooky Hasbro game, has apparently been put in turnaround, according to the Vulture blog.
“Ouija” was to be produced by Michael Bay (the “Transformers” films) and directed by McG (“Terminator: Salvation”). Simon Kinberg (“Sherlock Holmes”) recently finished a draft of the script.
In the meantime, Universal is prepping the 2012 release of Peter Berg’s “Battleship,” also based on a Hasbro game, the rights to which were purchased in the same deal as “Clue” and “Ouija.” “Battleship’s” hefty price tag (around $200 million) could be a factor in the studio’s decision to shelf other game-based films for now. Two other game properties, “Candy Land” and “Stretch Armstrong,” are still going forward at the studio.
Under that 2008 deal, the studio must pay Hasbro a $5 million penalty for dropping “Ouija.”
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Bay and McG are shopping the idea to other studios, with leads at Paramount and Fox.
McG’s latest directorial effort, “This Means War,” stars Reese Witherspoon, Tom Hardy and Chris Pine and will be released February 17, 2012. He’s also producing “The Medallion,” starring Nicolas Cage and Malin Akerman. On the small screen, he acts as executive producer on “Chuck,” “Supernatural” and “Nikita.”