Now is the time to buy up all the red plastic hotels you can get your hands on and start jacking up the prices; Ridley Scott will have to house his film crew somewhere while he directs the film version of Monopoly, and you could make bank.
According to interviews, Scott plans to put a futuristic sci-fi spin on the game for the film. One hopes he also plans to carve a compelling narrative out of it, though that seems a lot to hope for from a game based on real estate and road-improvement taxes. (My guess: When a Scottie Dog finds this illicit and dangerous piece of evidence in an abandoned Community Chest, the race is on! As he hops the Pennsylvania Railroad to escape the villainous Horse and Rider, the audience is in for an edge-of-their-seat adventure! MONOPOLY: Get Out of Jail Free, Summer 2010.)
Ridley Scott is a talented director, even if he has yet to surpass the iconic Blade Runner, but for a man who has the clout to direct almost anything, an adaptation of a board game seems a bizarre choice to leap to the top of the list. He confirmed Brave New World only a few months ago; is Aldous Huxley just not as convincing as Mr. Moneybags?
Scott’s narrative obstacles don’t even take into account the intended genre twist; Scott has not tackled science fiction or fantasy since 1985’s Legend (unless you count the fantasy that Orlando Bloom can carry a historical epic). Couldn’t he have at least gone for the imperialist undertones of Parcheesi? Maybe he’s just powered by the need for the Scottie Dog and the Top Hat to finally consummate the star-crossed love that has enthralled players of this character-study pastime for generations.
As the scriptwriting process begins, questions remain. Can Ridley Scott develop a decent sci-fi movie out of a totally non-genre game? Clearly the smash success of Transformers played a role in getting this project greenlit, but is there a big (and nostalgia-ridden) enough audience built in to the game? Is Russell Crowe in negotiations to play the Scottie Dog?
And Ridley: What are you thinking? (Unless you plan to take the money from this movie and stuff a mattress with hundred-dollar bills, in which case I totally condone what you’re thinking.)