With the broad announcement that Hasbro has finally entered into the filmmaking business in earnest by putting on a Universal costume and greenlighting projects with their toys, it seemed only fitting that we take a look at some baller-ass toys that actually do deserve to ascend to the big screen. Stretch Armstrong? Really, Universal? If I wanted a Plastic Man adaptation, I would have asked. Although, I can sort of see where a Battleship film might go. It’ll be the most structured war film of all time. Taking turns makes sense under heavy artillery fire! Teach the kids fairness even under duress!
If Where’s Waldo? is getting his own film, I say these toys at least have a shot.
Some quick and dirty ground rules: since Hasbro is tossing in toys and board games, I’m counting toys and board games as fair play. No card games – otherwise, yes, I would have totally endorsed a Magic: The Gathering movie.
I’ll hit you with the toy, who I think should direct, and hit you with a plot synopsis.
Pay attention, studio execs. I’m giving you free fried gold here:
The Pitch: During the day, the Lite-Brites play side by side, appeasing a devilish God-like presence named Timmy who loves making clown faces and always half-finishes the Lemonade Sign Pattern. But when Timmy’s away, the different colors are kept apart by ages of social repression – the ruling-class Whites uncomfortable mixing with the colored lights. When the love between a Green and a White threatens to break down the order, everyone will learn a lesson about equality, a lesson that we all have a place in the clown’s face. This Summer, you’ll cheer as an oppressed group of pegs stands up and steps…into the Lite.
Gary Ross (Pleasantville) directs, and we make it for $40 million.
9. TEDDY RUXPIN
The Pitch: Teddy is your run-of-the-mill bear living in Rillonia until the Princess is kidnapped by Quellor, the vicious leader of the Monsters and Villains Organization. The King has to rally troops from neighboring kingdoms, and Teddy is the only one that can deliver the message…with the cassette player in his back that all the other bears made fun of him for. The reluctant hero traverses the countryside, braving danger around every corner until the enemy overtakes him and forces a Black Sabbath cassette into his back – turning him to their side, and making him scary enough to give children nightmares. How will he escape and win the day? Will it involve a teddy bear blood-thirstily cutting off people’s heads? This Summer, you’ll marvel as a hero steps up and exercises his right…to bear arms.
Peter Jackson directs on location in Rillonia, we make it for $100 million, and Teddy never has to bow anyone anymore.
8. RUBIK’S CUBE
The Pitch: When young Marie McCallister inherits a strange puzzle cube from her great-grandmother, she accidentally opens a portal to another world that can only be closed by solving each colored side. Will her grandfather be able to solve it before she’s stuck in another dimension forever? Will he be able to stop the things from the other side from entering our world and destroying it? This Summer, witness the excitement and solve…the Cube.
Christopher Columbus directs, and we make it for $90 million.
7. SETTLERS OF CATAN
The Pitch: A fictional history of the early taming of Catan that mirrors the beginnings of the United States. This in-depth look at the struggle of starting a community before the industrial age will chronicle the successes and failures of those who take control of the foresting, farming, and shipping industries while others barely make due. Characters will deal with scarce supplies, awkward trade alliances and the threat of bandits. The drama takes a science fiction twist when one farmer discovers a giant, mysterious number 9 in the middle of his sheep-grazing field. This Summer, experience the hardship and the triumph of a history
Roland Emmerich directs, Mel Gibson stars, and we make it for $100 million.
The Pitch: In the year 2015, a group of scientists working on nanobot technology discover a secret government initiative that’s existed since the Nixon Administration when a colorful computer took control of the country and most international banking systems unbeknownst to the general populace. The Sentient Initiating Machine Organizing Network has taunted mankind with annihilation for decades unless someone inputs the correct color-coded sequence every 108 minutes. The scientists begin a dangerous game, traveling the country attempting to dismantle SIMON’s network to free mankind while a renegade brigadier general threatens not to input the sequence just to see what happens. This Summer, you’ll be shocked by a twist ending that will have you doing everything…that Simon says.
J.J. Abrams directs, Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof produce, and we make it for $120 million.
5. HUNGRY HUNGRY HIPPOS
The Pitch: Come along for the fun-tastic, family adventure when the Hungry Hungry Hippos move into your neighborhood! In this live-action, laugh-a-minute, madcap romp, a family of Hippos move to the big city only to find that their neighbors aren’t totally thrilled by their eating habits! Starring the fat-suit talents of Eddie Murphy and Jack Black, by the end, the neighborhood will learn to love their corpulent friends, and so will you! This Summer, share a BIG laugh with…the Hungry Hungry Hippos!
Tom Shadyac directs, and we make it for $65 million.
The Pitch: Dr. Richard Stark is the best surgeon in the world, but that skill is about to be tested when a world-famous Senator, the man who stole Stark’s wife from him, is brought into the ER with multiple organ failure. A wrenched ankle, water on the knee, butterflies in the stomach, a broken heart, yeast infection in his abdomen, and, of course, nasal cancer. In this tense medical drama, Dr. Stark’s ability and his relationship with his ex-wife will be tested to the brink. This Summer, the tension never flatlines when Stark is in the theater…the operating theater.
Bill Lawrence makes his feature-length debut, and we shoot it for $40 million.
3. CABBAGE PATCH KIDS
The Pitch: A stark look at the sex-lives of small town teenagers as seventeen-year old Telly is diagnosed with HPV and seeks out as many virgins as possible to infect before the town lifts the ban on mandatory vaccines. From prescription drug abuse to abortion, this picture pulls no punches while dealing with the horrid reality hiding behind the small homes and farm communities. This Summer, forget The OC and leave the children at home to experience the shocking, NC-17 reality of…the Patch.
Larry Clark directs, Gus Van Sant produces, and we shoot it guerilla-style for $26.50.
The Pitch: Realized in stunning stop-motion animation, the city of Jenga is brought to life, showing off the splendor of its magnificent architecture built entirely by interlacing blocks. But the city is expanding faster than it can handle, and intrepid city planner Doug Davis brainstorms an emergency solution to borrow parts of other buildings to build new ones. It works, the city is saved and the citizens rejoice, but then it starts to get out of hand. This Summer, will the city of Jenga stand tall…or fall down?
Henry Selick directs, Tim Burton produces, we make it for $125 million, and everyone thinks that Tim Burton directed it.
1. FIREBALL ISLAND
The Pitch: Strap yourself in for the most exciting picture you’ve even seen. Thrills! Chills! Adventure! Brendan Fraser stars as Marcus Willoughby, a scientist/adventurer who leads a team to a remote volcanic island to excavate the legendary Jewel of Vul-Kar. But he’s not the only one after it, and the natives are getting restless. You’ll gasp for breath during the explosive climax as three groups race to get the massive ruby back to their boats as the volcano at the center of the island erupts, spilling fireballs into the sky. This Summer, get ready for a pulse-pounding adventure that will set you…on fire.
Stephen Sommers directs, Christopher Lee voices the ancient idol Vul-Kar, and we make it for $500 million.