20 franchises inexplicably being adapted for the big screen
View-Master: The Movie? Hungry Hungry Hippos Assemble? Asteroids vs. Tetris: Dawn Of Graphics? It's hard to imagine how films can possibly be written around these simplistic videogames, plotless board games and childhood inanimate objects, but when there's potential for a new property franchise to be developed, Hollywood will stop at nothing to bring unbelievable film ideas to a big screen near you...
Hungry Hungry Hippos
The Film: How do you adapt such a game? Well, they could make the hippos cute little CGI nuisance pets la Mr. Popper's Penguins, and their insatiable appetite could cause all sorts of family friendly mischief. Or they could be the monstrous killers of a hardcore horror, devouring everything in their path. We know which version we'd rather see.
The Film: A 3D computer-animated film of Angry Birds is scheduled for release on 1st July 2016. But it will be terrible, right? Well it has Simpsons writer Jon Vitti and a cast including Jason Sudeikis, Maya Rudolph, Peter Dinklage, Bill Hader and Danny McBride to suggest otherwise.
The Film: Star Trek reboot writer/producers Bob Orci and Alex Kurtzman tried to get this going in 2009 and even had a first draft. Orci said: We had kind of a fun take. The idea was that it could transport you to wherever you could see."
Other projects took over though and the project has stalled recently. Still, we can always hope that View-Master's story will be told.
The Film: Typically, we're short on details. But Henk Rogers, managing director of The Tetris Company, claims the film will "re-imagine that common experience and bring a spectacular new Tetris universe to the big screen".
He also said: "In this new universe, as you'll soon find out, there's much more to Tetris than simply clearing lines." Have we... have we been playing it wrong all this time?
The Film: No word yet on plot, but given the toy range's historic rivalry with LEGO, this film will be doing whatever it can to emulate that successful movie. Expect an opening song entitled 'Everything Is Really Brilliant'.
The Film: Producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura said recently: "Weve crafted a really strong, deep mythology for the thing. Without divulging too much about it, its two lead characters two brothers who have to go through a seminal experience to figure out their relationship, against this huge backdrop." It turns out, while playing Asteroids, you needed to really read between the lines.
Magic 8 Ball
The Film: Will the Magic 8 Ball be the central MacGuffin in an adventure film about magical clairvoyance? (*shakes ball*) "Most Likely". Hmm, will it be any good? (*shakes ball*) "Ask Again Later". Aww, that's not fair...
The Film: Ridley Scott is still surprisingly attached to this project, which is, according to Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner, a very human and personal story".
He goes on to say: "It's a fictionalised story of a family, and theres a lot of intrigue in the story. Suffice it to say, its a story about a family with a history, and were projecting that into current times". So that clears that up.
The Film: Sex And The City writer Jenny Bicks is writing a live-action comedy about the professionally busy doll, which will see Barbie act like a modern-day Mary Poppins, using her people skills and many work talents to improve the lives of others. The film will, of course, also feature Ken, although there's no word yet on whether he will be anatomically correct.
The Film: Anyone who thinks that a movie based on this kid's game could only end up being an immature and vacuous effort can rest assured that the project is in safe hands: Adam Sandler is set to star in the film, which he will also co-write.
The Film: There are no plot details yet but it's hard to see how this will offer us anything different to the likes of, say, Independence Day.
The Film: Adam Rifkin, the filmmaker behind Small Soldiers, Mousehunt and er... Underdog, has acquired the film rights for Peeps, with the intention of turning it into a franchise. That's right, we should expect a whole movie FRANCHISE based around these edible treats now.
The Film: Universal Pictures bought the rights in 2003 and very nearly brought it to the big screen a couple of years later starring Dwayne Johnson and with John Woo in the director's chair, but the project stalled.
With both names leaving, the last we heard anything about this was the news in 2007 that Paul W. S. Anderson had agreed to direct and co-write a new script.
The Film: Harry Potter producer David Heyman is working on developing a film based on this game, which sees "demonic monkeys" changed to simply "demonic forces".
With no conclusion to be found in the game, it will be interesting to see whether our explorer gets away with his stolen treasure on the big screen or whether we will get the first installment of a film franchise that will just er... run and run.
The Knot, The Nest and The Bump
The Film: 20th Century Fox acquired rights to the sites with a mind to turning them into a fully-formed trilogy about one couple's progression through life, and Gossip Girl writer Natalie Krinsky is on scripting duties. Hey, if it worked for What To Expect When You're Expecting then... wait, did that work?
The Film: Producer John Davis explains: "What [the main characters] realise is that they can scan their world in, because this is the most lifelike, real Sims game ever.
"As they are playing this, they are all of a sudden realising [that] what they are playing on the game is having an effect on the real world. So in effect, through the game, they are able to control their world. It's wish fulfilment, and obviously it turns against them."
The Film: After various studios attempted and failed to bring Wally - or Waldo, for our U.S. friends - to the big screen, MGM and Classic Media are the latest to develop a live-action movie currently planned for a 2015 release, and they have hired Todd Berger to write the script. He's the man behind a couple of Kung Fu Panda shorts that you probably haven't seen.
The Film: Everyone laughed when a LEGO movie was announced and now Roy Lee, producer of that film, is working to bring the same success to Minecraft, so who are we to judge? Even rumoured director Shawn Levy (Night At The Museum) seems like a good fit.
The Film: The last we heard (which was, admittedly, three years ago), John Hlavin, writer of Underworld: Awakening and several episodes of The Shield, has been tapped up by Hasbro Entertainment and Columbia Pictures to turn the board game into a modern-day action thriller. Sure thatll be easy.
The Film: A live-action version of the concept that will have to face the problem of how to make Captain Planet look cool and NOT like a metrosexual Dr. Manhattan. Whatever the result, it wont be as good as Don Cheadles version.