Snakes, Ladders and Horizontal Integration: Board Games Ready To Be Made Into Movies

by: Bobby Crowley 

As a kid, if someone said the word “Battleship,” I immediately said, “Yes, please!” Now, when someone mentions the word, I still think of red and white pegs and strategic placement, but I now also associate an entirely different meaning the name. Battleship was recently made into a movie, one starring Rihanna. While I’m not so sure how I feel about this endeavor, I am certain there are other board games that could be made into amazing cinematic experiences. Just look at Clue: the Movie and  Jumanji (though I believe this one happened the other way around). I made a list of my top seven favorite board game movie pitches and some actors who might fill the main roles.

1. Operation.

Starring: Evan Rachel Wood, Alison Lohman, and Michael C. Hall. It may be a bit obvious or a bit too Human Centipede for your taste, but I believe Operation would make a fantastic horror movie. The Doctor, in this case, would be some creepy professional turned psychopath who likes to dissect human beings while they are alive. I would never actually be able to watch this movie as I have a low tolerance for things that go bump in the night and am prone to panic attacks but I believe the box office would go nuts for this film. I would lose the Rudolph-like honking nose though, it might ruin the mood.

2. Candyland.

Starring: AnnaSophia Robb, Asa Butterfield, Chloe Moretz, and that creepy guy from Charlie’s Angels. Candyland also has huge horror movie potential. Get a Willy Wonka type to send children into what they think is their dream world of candy and rainbows and wait for things to go horribly awry.  The gummy bears happen to eat little children, the molasses acts like quicksand, and the licorice ropes never let go. Not to mention half of the candy is poisonous, forcing the children to play Russian Roulette or just become cannibals. Basically, it’s twisted, bloody, and brilliant.

3. Snakes and Ladders.

Starring: Probably nobody famous. What a beautiful opportunity to bring back the fear of snakes after Snakes on a Plane and Mega Python vs. Gatoroid shattered all of their potential for horror. This might just turn into a thrilling game of chance slightly resembling a scary Let’s Make a Deal. Maybe a pit would be involved, like 127 Hours but with snakes… and ladders.

4. Perfection.

Starring: Ryan Gosling (because he is perfection), Angie Harmon, and Willem Dafoe. Like explosions? This is the movie for you. Perfection would be the more lively and less documentary-like version of The Hurt Locker. The story of a bomb squad faced with the impossible task of solving puzzles to avoid the detonation of bombs set by a serial bomber with a pension for destruction that could rival that dude in Speed. What else could we ask for?

5. Mr. Potato Head.

Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Drew Barrymore, and Jason Segel. The modern heterosexual woman’s Weird Science. A new romantic comedy that ends in a mashed “ideal” and “true love” found in a rather surprising place. A woman, played by Barrymore, constructs what she thinks is her ideal man, played by Reynolds, but ends up realizing this fantasy rings false to her heart (insert cheezy emotional reaction here). The story you’ve heard a million times plus potatoes. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll cheer when Jason Segel gets the girl.

6. Chess.

Starring: A bunch of British people. After all, all you need in Hollywood nowadays to represent any foreign body the people of America are not quite familiar with is a few British accents here and there. Right? The historical fictitious drama about two royal families fighting for power and wealth. This tense drama highlights issues of racial, class, and gender conflicts. Definitely an Oscar nominee.

7. Guess Who?

Starring: Mila Kunis, and Katherine Moennig. The common romantic comedy with a Cinderella-like mystery. A woman, played by Kunis, has an incredible night at a masquerade with what seems to be the man of her dreams. However, due to alcohol intake and the mysterious disappearance of this man, she is forced to search for him with the few clues she has. Surprise twist is the man is actually a woman, played by Moennig, and ends up being exactly what she needed.

I’ll probably go see Battleship one day, maybe when it hits cable. I’m not so certain, however, that I will ever see any of these films in action. Don’t get me wrong, they’re brilliant. However, I don’t think board games turned cinematic adventures are suddenly going to become popular. I’m pretty sure there is no new board game trend headed to Hollywood. However, if that day comes, I now have a few ideas I might send Warner Bros.’ way. Boy, are they in for a treat or what?

Bobby Crowley is a Queer woman with a love for all that is fabulous. She is currently working on her Creative Writing degree at Loyola University where she is also on the board of Advocate and a writer for the alt. magazine LUChameleon. She is in love with Andrea Gibson, her labradaniel puppies, and singing loudly in the shower.

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