Posted on Tuesday, October 14th, 2014 by Peter Sciretta
The following post was originally published on February 24th 2014.
Which board game movies should Hollywood make next? Over the last year or so I’ve gotten sucked into the table top scene, and now have a board game addiction. I’m not talking about Monopoly or The Game of Life, but designer hobby board games that offer more strategy and theme than the games we all played as children.
Hollywood has dipped its toes into the board game movies a few times now. First with Battleship. It was such a huge bomb that Universal later dropped Monopoly, which was being developed for years by Ridley Scott. Universal is releasing the horror/thriller adaptation of Ouija produced by Michael Bay and Jason Blum. Universal and Warner Bros are both fighting to make a movie based on the role-paying game Dungeons & Dragons. And most recently, 20th Century Fox has announced they are brining the popular role-playing card game Magic: The Gathering to the big screen with the help of Simon Kinberg.
There are many reasons Battleship failed but I think first and foremost the audience refused to take the movie seriously after hearing the title. The studio clearly greenlit the project hoping to turn massive brand recognition into tickets sold, but it didn’t take a genius to realize that the 1930 board game didn’t have enough story to warrant a movie adaptation. So much so that director Peter Berg made up his own “alien invasion at sea” construct.
So if Hollywood is going to develop board game movies, why not look at some board games that offer deeper storytelling, more interesting scenarios and compelling characters? The list I have put together after the jump includes a bunch of board games that you might not have heard of, but are popular in the tabletop gaming world. Each of them has something to offer Hollywood if they wanted to bet on concept and story vs. huge branding.