Universal Goes to ‘Candyland’

Oh, King Candy. You look so happy.

The creative well must be running dry at Universal Pictures. There’s no other logical explanation for the news, reported by Variety, that the studio’s tapped screenwriter Etan Cohen and director Kevin Lima to create a big screen version of the board game staple Candyland.

What they intend to make of the colorful collection of candy canes, lollipops and characters with names like Mr. Mint and Lord Licorice that comprise the Hasbro property is anyone’s guess. Fans of the classic game will know that it doesn’t exactly lend itself too well to a feature narrative. Even Ridley Scott’s reported upcoming adaptation of Monolopy seems, on the surface, to make more sense.

With Lima (director of Enchanted, Tarzan and 102 Dalmatians) and Cohen (writer of Madagascar 2 and Tropic Thunder) on board, the best bet for what to expect is a PG family comedy released during a prime box office period. It probably won’t tread into darker Willy Wonka territory.

Candyland will be the first film of a production deal Universal signed with Hasbro last February. Brian Goldner, the company’s CEO, producers and Christopher Chase executive produces. No word yet on actors attached.

Hopefully Lima and Cohen will be able to do more with the material than the makers of, say, Jumanji did with theirs.

How do you feel about this news? Warm and tingly?

Robert Levin has written dozens (if not hundreds) of reviews for Film School Rejects since his first piece in 2009. He is the film critic for amNewYork, one of the most widely circulated daily newspapers in New York City and the United States, and the paper's website He's a Brooklyn resident who tries very hard not to be a cliche.

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