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Universal Pictures just dated seven major upcoming releases including three in 2015. The biggest titles are Guillermo del Toro‘s Crimson Peak, which will hit regular and IMAX theaters October 16, 2015 and Pitch Perfect 2, which’ll be out May 15, 2015. There’s also Baltasar Kormákur‘s star-studded Everest on February 27, 2015 and the Platinum Dunes film Ouija on October 24 of this year. Read about all those and more below. Read More »

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There was a moment when Hollywood seemed to think that turning boardgames into movies was a brilliant idea, but so far we’ve heard about far more failures than successes. Battleship was a notorious disappointment (it did do better overseas than in the US), and after years of development Candyland, Monopoly, and Hungry Hungry Hippos have yet to get off the ground.

Nevertheless, Ouija is still determinedly chugging along, and now it even has the beginnings of a cast. Olivia Cooke (A&E’s Bates Motel), Douglas Smith (Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters), and Daren Kagasoff (The Secret Life of the American Teenager) have just boarded the picture, which is being produced by low-budget horror master Jason Blum. Get plot details and more after the jump.

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Last year, Universal Pictures decided to ditch its adaptation of the Hasbro game Ouija, and for a time it looked like Paramount would be the one to make the movie. But Paramount couldn’t get it off the ground either, and it was Universal itself who eventually picked it back up this past spring, albeit in a rather different, lower-budget form. An impressive 95% lower, to be more precise: according to reports that came out around that time, the studio had chopped the production budget down from $100 million to just $5 million, or about the cost of Paranormal Activity 3.

And with that new number in mind, the studio has now found just the pair to bring the property to the big screen. Juliet Snowden and Stiles White, the writers behind Knowing and the upcoming The Possession, will write rewrite the script and make their directorial debuts on Ouija. More details after the jump.

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Last August, Universal decided not to move ahead with the film version of Hasbro’s board game Ouija. The film was reportedly a $100 million plus adventure in the mold of Pirates of the Caribbean, produced by Michael Bay‘s Platinum Dunes and directed by McG from a script by Tron: Legacy writers Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz. Universal deemed that project too expensive and let it go. Last we heard, a new screenwriter was reworking the property and other studios were being courted.

Monday, Universal revealed they’re back on board with the board game, though it’s now sporting a totally revamped look. Once costing over $100 million, the new version will cost closer to $5 million. I’m not missing a zero. Five million dollars. To help with that, they’ve brought along producer Jason Blum who made hits out of other micro budget films like Paranormal Activity and Insidious. A 2013 release is planned. Read more after the jump. Read More »

Marti Noxon‘s most recent theatrical release, Fright Night, may not have done massive business, but it certainly hasn’t hurt her. In the wake of writing Fright Night the former Buffy writer and showrunner was brought on to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by her Fright Night director Craig Gillespie, before both ended up leading the project.

And now Noxon is rewriting Ouija for Hasbro and Platinum Dunes. Read More »

Universal Says Goodbye To ‘Ouija’

Back in May, a rumor broke on Twitter that Universal was halting pre-viz work and shutting down production on Ouija, the big budget, board game adventure film that was to be directed by McG and written by Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz. Inquires to Universal at the time denied this rumor and we didn’t run the story. Turns out that was most likely the final few gasps of breath before the true ending.

Now Vulture is reporting Universal has officially dropped the Hasbro board-game adaptation. McG and producer Michael Bay are free to shop the project around but, according to reports, Paramount has already passed. There’s more after the break. Read More »

Briefly: Universal and Platinum Dunes continue to develop a movie based on the Ouija board, that supernatural telegraph that is somewhere between a board game and parlor trick. Making a good movie out of Ouija will certainly a hell of a parlor trick, and to help with the process the companies have just hired Simon Kinberg, the guy who wrote Mr. and Mrs. Smith, X-Men: The Last Stand, and co-wrote a draft of Sherlock Holmes. (Not, sadly, the BBC’s Sherlock.) He also wrote This Means War, which Ouija director McG just finished.

He’ll be polishing the previous draft by Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis (Tron Legacy). What happened to the work done by the last reported hire, Evan Spiliotopoulos? Not sure if his work is playing into the new draft going forward. But given that, as the LA Times says, Simon Kinberg’s “specialty is big, upscale — and sometimes comedic — action pieces,”this hire makes sense. After all, we’d already heard that Ouija is planned as a family adventure movie with a tone akin to an Indiana Jones movie.

McG’s ‘Ouija’ Gets a New Writer

Perhaps you were hoping that the Universal collaboration with Hasbro would somehow fail to produce the Ouija Board movie that we’ve been promised. (Or warned of, take your pic.) But the Platinum Dunes-produced, McG-directed film is very much alive. Tron Legacy writers Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz were originally on the script, but they’re now dealing with their TV show Once Upon a Time and Ouija consequently needs a new writer. That the new guy has a lot of Disney experience might surprise you, until realizing that he also worked on Universal’s Wanted 2. Read More »

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