Dreamworks-Hasbro Merger

Yesterday news broke that DreamWorks Animation had entered merger talks with toy-maker Hasbro. If the merger happens, DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffery Katzenberg would head the new single-family entertainment company known as DreamWorks-Hasbro. I’m surprised something like this hasn’t happened sooner as the combination seems oh-so-obvious. But Hasbro isn’t just a toy company, it has quite a few brands of its own that a company such as DreamWorks Animation could leverage into big screen computer animated features. Which movies could work under the new company? Which movies don’t we want to see from the Dreamworks-Hasbro merger? Find out after the jump.

Update: It’s entirely possible that the merger won’t happen, as Hasbo’s stock price tumbled when word of the possible merger went public. THR and Deadline both report that merger talks are off, though there is caution that talks could be revived if a different valuation of Dreamworks Animation is floated as part of the merger. We’ll still present our list below, and if talks re-open, we’ll report back.

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Have you ever wondered how the Transformers movies came to be? Or how about the box office failure Battleship, the two G.I. Joe movies, or the upcoming Jem and the Holograms film adaptation? All of these films started as toys owned by the Hasbro toy company.  Business Insider talked with Hasbro Chief Marketing Officer John Frascotti to find out how these toys become movies and I think some of the details are fascinating and humorous.  Find out how toys get made into movies, after the jump.

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A couple years ago Universal made a deal with Hasbro that put a whole bunch of board game films into development at the studio. The one result so far is Battleship, opening later this year, and in fact Universal has steadily shed most of the other projects: Ouija, Clue, Monopoly and now Candyland have all been cut loose to find new homes. The version of Candyland that was in development was the brainchild of writers Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger, who likened their approach to The Lord of the Rings with candy.

That incarnation of Candyland is apparently dead, and a new one, Candy Land, has stuck to Happy Madison and Columbia Pictures. Adam Sandler is now attached to star with Kevin Lima (Enchanted) directing and Sandler in talks to co-write with Robert Smigel. This collection of talent sounds like, if nothing else, one that will deliver a much more obvious film based on the sweet game. Read More »

Yes, Universal Pictures is moving forward with their big screen adaptation of the Milton Bradley board game Candy Land. You remember the game right? I think everyone must have owned or played it as a kid, or at least the people of the 70′s-80′s generation. And it would be easy to poo-poo the idea of a big screen movie entirely. I could write a blog post about how Hollywood has run out of ideas in my sleep. Problem is, Universal actually hired some talented people to develop this project. It’s kinda like how Ridley Scott is attached to direct a Monopoly movie. You want to slam the idea entirely, but the people involved make you take a step back.

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