Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/11/13/monopoly_movie/
Revealed: The amazing premise behind Ridley Scott's Monopoly
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The man who apparently persuaded Ridley Scott to helm a film based on Monopoly has described the amazing premise which reeled in the director.
Yes indeed, this is a special treat for the board game movie adaptation fans among you, who've been known to ask, for example, just how on God's Green Earth they expect to translate Risk to the big screen.
Well, There's Something About Mary producer Frank Beddor has revealed to the LA Times just how he came to the rescue of the Universal/Hasbro Monopoly hook-up, announced earlier this year.
He told the paper: "The project was underway but they were in a little bit of trouble I guess and they were looking for a way to actually turn it into a movie. I had a pretty interesting take and it got Sir Ridley interested ... "
And here's how he did it:
I created a comedic, lovable loser who lives in Manhattan and works at a real estate company and he’s not very good at his job but he’s great at playing Monopoly. And the world record for playing is 70 straight days - over 1,600 hours - and he wanted to try to convince his friends to help him break that world record. They think he is crazy. They kid him about this girl and they're playing the game and there’s this big fight. And he’s holding a Chance card and after they’ve left he says, ‘Damn, I wanted to use that Chance card,’ and he throws it down. He falls asleep and then he wakes up in the morning and he’s holding the Chance card, and he thinks, ‘That’s odd.’
He’s all groggy and he goes down to buy some coffee and he reaches into his pocket and all he has is Monopoly money. All this Monopoly money pours out. He’s confused and embarrassed and the girl reaches across the counter and says, ‘That’s OK.’ And she gives him change in Monopoly money. He walks outside and he’s in this very vibrant place, Monopoly City, and he’s just come out of a Chance Shop. As it goes on, he takes on the evil Parker Brothers in the game of Monopoly. He has to defeat them. It tries to incorporate all the iconic imageries - a sports car pulls up, there's someone on a horse, someone pushing a wheelbarrow - and rich Uncle Pennybags, you're going to see him as the maître d' at the restaurant and he's the buggy driver and the local eccentric and the doorman at the opera. There's all these sight gags.
Upon hearing this revolutionary idea, Sir Ridley said without hesitation: "What do I have to be part of this movie?"*
Quite how Monopoly: The Motion Picture eventually turns out remains to be seen. The screenwriting has been turned over to Pamela Pettler of Monster House fame, and Beddor admitted: "Things will change, it's been a couple of years since I came up with all that. I did my job where I created this world so they could get really excited and get Ridley excited." ®
*Presumably he meant "What do I have to do..."
Oh yes, we've just had a great idea for a movie: Bloke wakes up in the morning in Hollywood and goes to buy a coffee and reaches for his wallet but all he has in his pocket is a brilliant, original screenplay, and he's confused and embarrassed and rightly so because the girl reaches across the counter and says: "How you gonna pay for a coffee with that? Come back when you've got a bankable idea based on dominoes, or whatever."