Posted on Thursday, June 2nd, 2011 by Russ Fischer
Is there a movie in development that has been more reviled than Candyland? OK, there probably is. But still, the idea of turning a basically plotless board game laden with sweets into a movie has generated jokes aplenty. The writers are Glenn Berger and Jonathan Aibel, who also scripted two Alvin and the Chimpmunks films (the third is in post now) and two Kung-Fu Panda movies. But those two Kung-Fu Panda movies have earned good reviews, with the second one impressing people who expected just another product from the Dreamworks sequel machine.
So can they turn Candyland into something that might work in the same surprising way as the first Pirates of the Caribbean film? Comments about making a movie that would be “The Lord of the Rings with candy” didn’t do much to sway public opinion, but the writers are still talking about the project in those terms as they do the promotional rounds for Kung-Fu Pands 2. Read a few more comments after the break and see if you’re convinced.
Speaking to AICN, Glenn Berger explained that the fact that Kung Fu Panda treated its characters seriously, wasn’t full of pop-culture jokes and had its own internal world was a big part of why Candyland came their way.
That’s precisely, I think, why we got the job on CANDY LAND. But that’s also why we were excited about getting the job on CANDY LAND. It’s something that, on the face of it, seems like a huge challenge: it’s a board game for kids, and there’s no strategy involved. But what it does have is the opportunity to set an action movie in a world made of candy. So when we meet with the director, Kevin Lima, and he says, “I want this to be LORD OF THE RINGS but with candy,” you could either laugh at that, or say, “If you could pull that off, that would be really cool. We’d love to be a part of that because we love LORD OF THE RINGS and we love candy.”
(And to The Playlist, he said something very similar, only with a Shakespeare reference: “…you take something that could be considered childish or silly and you take it really seriously and say, “What if there was an operatic, ‘King Lear’-like civil war in a kingdom that just happened to be made completely out of candy?” And you take the action sequences seriously and you take the comedic elements seriously and there’s a real emotional journey the characters go on. Having just done that, twice over, with a giant plush panda, we thought “Maybe we could try it again with candy.” We were excited about the challenge and hopefully we can pull it off.”)
Jonathan Aibel supports those comments, saying,
Every movie is about the execution. I don’t think there’s a great movie where if you said the logline to it, someone wouldn’t say, “That sounds terrible!” If someone said, “There’s this archaeologist, and he tries to steal this relic from the Nazis,” you be like, “I don’t know, that sounds kind of lame.” Anything is going to be in how it’s done. And hopefully this will be done well. We’re certainly approaching it in the spirit of sincerity. We want to tell a great story, and it just happens to be based on CANDY LAND. Kevin and everyone at Hasbro aren’t just like, “Let’s just take this board game, and make a movie to sell more board games.” It isn’t that at all.
So: are you convinced? How about this: are you convinced that there is potential here?