Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Board Game Movie Ideas

I'm up for a post about the Enchanted, Inc. universe tomorrow, but as far as I can recall, the only questions I haven't answered have been spoilery. So, if you've got a question about the stories, characters or world that isn't about what will happen in future books, ask away.

That unintentionally hilarious Battleship trailer and the response to my musings about making a movie out of the board game Candyland got me started thinking that there's a whole franchise of board game movies out there. I had a ton of these games as a kid, mostly because I was rather susceptible to TV ads, in which the kids playing these games seemed to be having so much fun that they were about to pop. And then I'd get these games and realize that I didn't really like playing games of any kind and I didn't really have anyone to play games with. My friends and I did more active things during the daytime. We were too busy running around the neighborhood acting out TV shows and other let's pretend games, riding bikes, riding skateboards, roller skating or playing on the playground. We didn't often go to anyone else's house at times when we couldn't play outside. When we did, we played with Barbies or did smaller-scale versions of let's pretend games. Although I had these games and there were plenty of other kids in the neighborhood, I don't remember ever playing board games with my friends.

So, I don't recall the rules to most of these games. I tended to make up my own games with the bits and pieces of the games, and they were more narrative-style games rather than competitions. Which makes me the perfect person to come up with storylines to turn these games into movies.

Here are a few of my ideas:

I already discussed Candyland as a trippy but twisted Tim Burton film starring Johnny Depp. I don't remember the exact elements of Candyland (I never had that one), but there could be a kind of Hansel and Gretl thing going on, with kids sucked through a portal into the candy world and trying to survive.

The game of Life could be an ensemble romantic comedy of the Love Actually variety, with interwoven stories about various couples and singles at different phases of life. Are they really in control of the way things work out, or is it all just a roll of the dice?

Then there's Trivial Pursuit, which could be a wacky college comedy in which groups of students (fraternities, dorms, clubs, or the like) split along the usual college comedy demographic lines (nerds, jocks, preppy rich kids, artsy types) try to succeed in the classroom and in life while competing in an ongoing trivia contest in the student union. The trivia contest could be a metaphor for the college experience, implying that most of the work done toward a modern college degree is truly a trivial pursuit.

I don't remember much about Dungeon Dice other than there was something about rolling the dice and having to match runes of some sort, and that could be the making of a fantasy quest type story in which a group of prisoners in an evil wizard's dungeon realize that the small bag of rune-covered dice they discover in a niche in the wall is their key to escape, as they have to match the runes on the dice with symbols on the dungeon walls that point the way to the secret passage. Little do they know that these dice are also the secret to the wizard's power, and he'll stop at nothing to keep them from escaping with the dice.

I think they already made a Mousetrap movie. Payday was essentially Life-lite, so it could be handled like Life, but maybe as more of a workplace comedy, with everyone working toward that all-important paycheck. Risk is pretty much tailor-made to be a geopolitical thriller.

Hey, with all these, no one needs to come up with another original idea for a film! Are there any other board games that would make good movies?

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