I thought I knew how a Monopoly movie could work, even what a Ridley Scott Monopoly movie would look like, but I didn’t expect anything like this. I’ll let Frank Beddor, the man behind the movie’s concept, lay it all out for you:
[H]e’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.
Er… okay. So it’s like Zathura or Jumanji then? Not what I had in mind. After the break, who this “he” is, and how he will get himself into this surrealist scrape in the first place.
All of the details are at Hero Complex, where Beddor gives a good heap of set-up for the picture’s plot and characters. His hero is apparently a “comedic, lovable loser” who’s not so hot at his job in Real Estate but rather nifty at Monopoly. His ambition is to beat the world record for marathon playing of the game, which is apparently 70 straight days, and as a result of this he somehow ends up slipping into the parallel universe.
I have to admit I’m quite disappointed by this storyline. Beddor isn’t actually scripting the film and Pamela Pettler, who is, could well change a lot of the details but that won’t get us away from what I think is the key issue here. By my reckoning, most of us have no concept of an alternative reality from the Monopoly game and there’s no other-world created by it’s iconography. Instead we think of it as being essentially characterless and our imagination is exercised not in projecting an alternative world but it accepting the various quirks of the game (luxury hotels priced at less than a family car) as being essentially realistic.