Universal and Paramount in Ouija slap down

Film buffs were certainly rolling their eyes several years ago when Universal touted a number of movies based on board games.

Planned films included Candyland, Monopoly, Clue (which Pirates of the Caribbean helmer Gore Verbinski was going to direct), Ouija, and of course, Battleship.

Now reports have surfaced that Universal is passing on Ouija, which had Michael Bay attached as a producer, and McG (Charlie’s Angels) onboard to direct.


Universal signed a deal with Hasbro in 2008 to develop games as movies, and Battleship was part of the deal. 

As Collider and New York Mag both confirm, Universal paid a whopping $5 million in penalties back to Hasbro for passing on the project, who will be taking it to other studios.

However, Paramount, where Bay would certainly be welcome because of the ginormous success of Transformers 3, has already passed on Ouija.


McG reportedly viewed Ouija as a big Jumanji style movie, but with a supernatural bent of course. Lost writers Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz penned the script, with Sherlock Holmes scribe Simon Kinberg also doing some work on it as well.


Right now are tough times for big budget movies, with the Lone Ranger being halted at Disney over cost concerns, and Universal passing on The Dark Tower and At the Mountains of Madness over the same.

And as Variety notes, Universal also has a lot riding on a number of big budget movies coming up next year including Battleship, 47 Ronin (starring Keanu Reeves), R.I.P.D., Safe House (starring Denzel Washington) and Oblivion, starring Tom Cruise.


For those who are tired of little originality hitting movie screens, Ouija and other big screen game adaptations falling apart could definitely be good news. 

Of course, if you still want to see games and toys at the movies fear not, because Battleship is coming, and Universal still has Candy Land and Stretch Armstrong, which will star Twilight’s Taylor Lautner, in development.