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Universal smacks Verbinski’s Clue over the head with a Candle Stick

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Caffeinated Clint
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Clint is the creator, editor and maintainer of Moviehole.

“Clue”, the film based on the Hasbro board game that’s been set up at Universal for a couple of years, is dead at Universal. The studio killed it not with a candle stick, but with a line through the numerals adorning a cheque.

The film will stay go on though… and mainly because it’s director has friends with deep pockets.

“Pirates of the Caribbean” and “Rango” helmer Gore Verbinski remains attached to direct the film; the film now has Hasbro producing and Burk Sharpless and Matt Sazama (the ”Flash Gordon” remake) writing the script. Seems losing the Burbank bunch won’t hurt the film a tad.

“Clue” is one of the few board games to surpass $1 billion in sales, in more than 50 markets. It was developed in England by a retired legal clerk named Anthony Pratt during WWII and released in 1948. The game has already produced one film, 1985’s “Clue” starring Christopher Lloyd and Tim Curry.


Deadline
says the latest version, which Hasbro will seemingly bankroll, is one of a handful of board gum movie projects Universal had in the works.

Universal Pictures has quietly dropped out of Clue, one of the seven Hasbro games properties the studio contracted to make into movies in a ground-breaking six-year exclusive deal signed in 2008. Clue becomes the third project out of seven to be dropped by Universal (Monopoly and Magic, The Gathering were also kicked to the curb), but none of those projects are dead.

Verbinski’s “Clue” will retain the murder-mystery aspect of the game and previous film but it’ll be set on a wider canvass.

The writers will draft a take that Verbinski and his fellow producers came up with that retains the murder mystery spirit of the board game, but broadens the setting to a global stage.

Apparently Universal and Hasbro’s relationship remains fine, the studio simply wanted to pour it’s energy into the four films they have based on Hasbro properties – Peter Berg’s “Battleship”, the Taylor Lautner starring “Stretch Armstrong”, Michael Bay produced “Ouija”, and “Candy Land” – rather than push a bunch through the grinder at once.

Still, anyone think the bubble’s going to burst pretty quickly on these game-cum-film type ventures?

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