Good luck getting the thumbs-up for an original concept featuring a female lead. But wouldn't you like to make a big-budget movie about some third-rate plastic tchotchke from the 1990s, instead? That's all Hollywood seems capable of producing these days, and now there are projects based on Angry Birds and Tetris, as well.
Truly, nostalgia is America's greatest natural resource.
Sure, The Lego Movie was cute. And the Angry Birds voice cast sounds amazing. As per Variety, Jason Sudeikis, Maya Rudolph, Danny McBride, Bill Hader, Josh Gad and Peter Dinklage will all lend their talents. That's a great line-up! But I would be more excited were for this something other than a movie based on a casual video game most closely associated with toilet breaks and long Post Office lines.
And as for Tetris—good lord. How does one wrest a narrative from a video game about fitting blocks into slots? According to the Wall Street Journal, which broke the news:
While no directors or cast are attached to the film yet, there is a story in place.
"It's a very big, epic sci-fi movie," Threshold's CEO Larry Kasanoff tells Speakeasy exclusively. "This isn't a movie with a bunch of lines running around the page. We're not giving feet to the geometric shapes."
If your scifi epic isn't persuasive enough without slapping "TETRIS" on the poster, maybe you should return to the drawing board.
These two projects are just the latest in a trend that ranges from Transformers to G.I. Joe, Jem and the Holograms to Barbie, Legos to Battleship. Hasbro is trying to make movies based on Monopoly and fucking Hungry Hungry Hippos. Hungry Hungry Hippos! What story could you possible tell about Hungry Hungry Hippos? Is there a famine in Hippoland? Do the Hippos resolve to make a lifestyle change so they can get the guy? Is it a parable about ecological collapse?
Hell, we're definitely getting a Ouija movie at the end of the month.
Anyway, I hope this all culminates in an Avengers-style mega-movie where it's revealed that all these projects are the result of somebody's toys achieving sentience, climbing out of dusty attic storage and heading to infiltrate Hollywood. One group (Decepticons, Uncle Moneybags Hippos, Barbie) plots to destroy humanity for carelessly abandoning the gadgets and dolls they once loved so well; another (Jem and the Holograms, G.I. Joe, Candyland) strives to protect us because they remember what was.
Photos via AP Images.