Reaffirming the adage that all the good ideas in Hollywood have already been taken, Universal Pictures is now mining the properties of game company Hasbro. The studio, which does not own a DC Comics or another franchise-generating brand, has signed a six-year strategic partnership with Hasbro to produce at least four movies. Off-limits to the company are Transformers, which Paramount/Dreamworks already turned into a $700 million franchise and has a sequel in the works, and G.I. Joe, which director Stephen Sommers is currently filming, also for Paramount.
Titles that are up for grabs by Universal include the classic board game Monopoly, the kids’ favorite Candy Land, the seance game Ouija, and the action figure Stretch Armstrong, to name a few. While these may not sound like the best concepts to turn into movies, it illustrates the lengths to which a studio will go for a little name recognition to offset the astronomical marketing costs associated with opening a movie. Agency William Morris orchestrated the deal.