The Lego Movie may be the latest movie ever to be based on a scrap of plastic kids played with, but it wasn’t the first; that dubious honor goes to 1987’s Masters of the Universe, starring Dolph Lundgren as the ludicrously monikered He-Man. Here we give you our favorites, plus updates on other movies based on games--like, will we ever see that Monopoly movie?
By Greg Dean Schmitz
Who'd have thought one movie based on the shapeshifting Autobots and Decepticons would ever be made, let alone four? This summer's Age of Extinction, by all accounts, is poised to be a hit--the trailer that aired during Super Bowl 2014 had fans buzzing like crazy. The franchise got its start as a line of Hasbro toys in 1984.
Paramount successfully brought Hasbro's long-running soldier toy line to the movies with Channing Tatum starring in the first, Dwayne Johnson in the second, and a third currently in development. Although the first G.I. Joe action figures were introduced in 1964, this series is based upon the more popular (and smaller) toys introduced in 1982 that also inspired a popular animated TV series.
Director Peter Berg had more success with January 2014's Lone Survivor than this ridiculous action/FX extravaganza a few years ago. The game where players try to guess the letter and number coordinates of their opponent's ships on a hidden map was only loosely alluded to in the U.S. Navy vs. aliens movie.
Stretch Armstrong (4/15/11)
Stretch Armstrong is Kenner/Hasbro's action figure first introduced in 1976 that has stretchy limbs, a canine sidekick named Fetch and an evil brother named Wretch. At one point it was to be written by Steve Oedekerk (Evan Almighty) and Taylor Lautner was even attached, but Relativity dropped the project last year.
Milton Bradley's classic Candy Land board game, first published in 1949, has gone through many planned movie incarnations since Universal picked it up in 2009. Now Adam Sandler has signed on to star and develop Candyland, and it will be less about gumdrops and candy cane forests and more about being funny. Kevin Lima (Enchanted) will direct.
Parker Brothers’ classic board game Clue was adapted as a movie in 1985 as a murder mystery comedy set in a spooky mansion and became a cult hit. Universal Pictures picked it up as part of a deal with Hasbro but dropped it-- director Gore Verbinski (Pirates of the Caribbean) planned to make it himself but no word on this project since 2011.
He-Man and the Masters of the Universe
He-Man and the Masters of the Universe got started as a Mattel line of sword and sorcery action figures in 1981, which was followed by a popular 1980s animated TV show and the 1987 movie starring Dolph Lundgren. Director John Chu dropped out of Masters of the Universe in 2013 for G.I. Joe 3 and there's no word on where this project is now.
Since 1968, Mattel has been has been making tiny Hot Wheels toy versions of dozens of popular car models, but there has never been much of a story. The latest news came last year when Legendary brought on a writer (Paul Attanasio, Donnie Brasco) to rewrite the script and signed on a director (stuntman Simon Crane).
Major Matt Mason
Although it's a toy that is largely forgotten now, when Major Matt Mason was first introduced in 1966, the action figures of astronauts who lived and worked on the moon were a big success for Mattel. Now, the game company is hoping to revive interest in Major Matt Mason by working with Universal Pictures on a movie that will star Tom Hanks, who was a fan of the toy as a child.
Parker Brothers' Monopoly, which claims the title of the most popular commercial board game in the world, is being developed as a family movie by Emmett/Furla Films with Ridley Scott producing. It will be the first of three Hasbro toy movies from the company: Hungry Hungry Hippos and Action Man are also part of the deal inked last year.
The first Ouija board was patented in 1890, Parker Brothers has been making them since 1966, and now Universal Pictures, Hasbro and Michael Bay are making a horror movie based on the game. After dropping the project in 2011, Uni came back, trimmed the $100 million budget by $95 million and brought on Paranormal Activity's Jason Blum to produce. It's set to come out Oct. 2014.