Which of These Four Board Games is Not in Development?

“Battleship” may well sink at the box office in America and still manage to produce a sequel. The chances for a high concept movie becoming a franchise seems to be depending far less on domestic box office success and more on international box office success. Even if “Battleship” fails to become a franchise, don’t count out the chances of one day seeing your favorite board game transformed into a movie.

You might also want to prepare yourself for not being able to recognize much similarity between what you loved in the game played on table or the floor and what Hollywood did to it during its adaptation into a film. The following list contains two board games that are currently in various states of development in Hollywood and two that are at the moment—spring of 2012—still living a life quiet desperation as they wait to see if they are the equivalent of the last kid picked for the kickball team.

Ouija Board

A movie based on the popular Ouija board “game” is actually not a bad idea. “Battleship” has a strict mode of gameplay that makes it the equivalent of seeing a play by Shakespeare in comparison to the Ouija board’s evening with an improv group. Every session of “Battleship” is basically the same whereas no two sessions with the Ouija need be anything alike. As a result, writing a movie based on playing around with what some consider a tool of evil is rich with opportunities for creativity and imaginative flights of fancy. Unless Michael Bay remains involved.

Hungry, Hungry Hippos

A poster mocking that of “Battleship” made the rounds when the game of sinking ships was nearing release. That enormous hippo breaching through the surface like a combination of a whale and submarine looks great on a poster, but a movie based on the game really needs to stick with reality. Here is a game that positively cries out for the animated approach. Should that not work out, other ideas that might work would be turning it into a satire of reality shows or making a mockumentary about an adventure enthusiast.

Candyland

Candyland should be a totally animated film directed for kids, right? What if you were to hear that a cinematic adaptation was going to attempt to transform Candy Cane Forest and Gum Drop Mountain into something that might have come out of the mind of J.R.R. Tolkien? Which would you rather see: Lord of the Lorice in live action form or a demented big screen cartoon in the subversive vein of Cartoon Network’s “Adventure Time”?

Risk

Talk about an epic!  Except for that fact that the actual board game play of Risk requires strategic thinking on a high intellectual level, this seems like a natural for Michael Bay. World domination that includes explosions, weaponry, loud noise and mindless violence is Bay’s stock in trade, so why wouldn’t he be involved? Statistical probabilities, diplomatic alliances, psychological intuition and an evolved understanding of geopolitical structure is required to win the game, however, so a Michael Bay action orgasm doesn’t really seem the best cinematic fit. A much better approach to making a movie out of Risk would seem to be transforming the fantasies of young players into various and appropriately realistic or anti-realistic dream sequences.