Hollywood optioning every single board game, action figure, and childhood knickknack on Earth is the gift that keeps on giving. That’s because it’s plenty of fun to imagine teams of screenwriters, locked away on major-studio lots, chugging coffee while grappling with how to graft plots onto stuff like the View-Master and it’s even better to hear what they actually came up with. Thus far, the field’s high watermark comes via Peter Berg, who somehow figured out how to cram evil, sea-faring aliens into his Battleship movie. Now Ridley Scott’s talking up the Monopoly adaptation, and what his description lacks in insanity it makes up for in clearly perceived bafflement that he’s for some reason making a Monopoly movie.
We had a hard time initially, because my head led me down the route of saying, 'Somehow, I have to integrate the game. Do I have to show the game, with people running around on a board, with the large houses and funny top hats and that sort of thing?’ [Hasbro] said no. We just want a movie. And that makes it a lot easier.
So, Scott decided to make a comedy about a Donald Trump–type character and his dealings with equally vicious real-estate tycoons: “It's about greed
Greed becomes, hopefully, hysterically funny.” Sensible! This next part is less relatable:
You know, if you hover above Central Park at night in a helicopter, and you look down below, when you're right in the middle of the park, it looks like a Monopoly board. It's green, it's lit, it's got the most expensive real estate in the world around the edges — and that is where we start.
I always liked films like 'Trading Places' with Eddie Murphy. I'm not saying it's like that, but it's somewhere around that route.
So, adapting Monopoly has led Ridley Scott — director of Blade Runner, Gladiator, and American Gangster — to try to make something resembling an eighties Eddie Murphy comedy? Awesome.