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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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Rob Cohen to Direct Action Thriller ‘Risk’

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Briefly: No, we haven’t gone back to the days where studios were actively developing board game properties, and this Risk doesn’t have any of the strategic hallmarks you might be thinking of. (Though after The Lego Movie hits this weekend, we might see a resurgence of toy and game developments.)

This film is an action picture that blends “psychological suspense and action,” and features “a brilliant thief who is released early from prison to execute a nearly impossible art heist.” We don’t have any casting, but Rob Cohen (The Fast and the Furious, Stealth) is directing from a script by Eric Harlacher, who has a few TV movie credits to his name.

We don’t know much more, but Cohen told Variety, “I’ve always wanted to make a sophisticated caper/thriller in the style of ‘Topkapi,’ ‘To Catch A Thief’ and ‘The Hot Rock,’ with smart characters and sexy European backgrounds.  When I read the script of ‘Risk’, I knew this was it.” Those thrillers, especially Topkapi, are pretty great, and if he can capture some of that magic, more power to him.

Films about global war aren’t new. Science fiction, action, drama, even comedies and horror movies have used the familiar, if intense structure to tell tales of victory and defeat. However, some of our best memories of these grand conflicts were probably made in epic battles between family and friends thanks to the Parker Brothers board game Risk. Created in the 1950s by French filmmaker Albert Lamorisse, the game features players battling to take control of the world and, in 2009, Sony Pictures purchased the rights to make a film version. Now, they’ve finally taken the next step by hiring a writer to turn the incredibly broad premise into a concise screenplay: John Hlavin. Read More »

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the box final posterThis week, Dave Chen, Devindra Hardawar and Adam Quigley wonder whether or not Avatar will actually be profitable, express bafflement at the inclusion of aliens in Peter Berg’s Battleship film, and ponder whether Jake Gyllenhaal’s Prince of Persia constitutes brownface. Special guest Matt Singer joins us from the IFC News podcast.

You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Join us next Monday at 9 PM EST / 6 PM PST at Slashfilm’s live page as we review 2012.

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Not all board game to movie adaptations are a completely bad idea. For instance, Battleship has the potential to be a very cool water-based war film, especially with Peter Berg at the helm. But when does a brand name hurt the adapted property? Would a Battleship movie be taken more seriously if it weren’t named after a board game? Why does Universal need to pay the rights for the name anyways?

The same could be said for Sony Pictures latest acquisition, the rights to the Hasbro-owned board game Risk. Yes, an large scale strategic epic world war movie could end up being pretty damn awesome… but does it really need to be released under the name “Risk”? Doesn’t the board game title sort of belittle whatever eventual product that comes out? And couldn’t you just make the large scale epic war film without even buying the property? Again, I think they would be better off.

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