Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Story of MONOPOLY: The Movie


"Producer/author Frank Beddor ('The Looking Glass Wars') revealed details of the story he pitched for the Monopoly movie that got Ridley Scott interested in directing. Speaking to the Los Angeles Times, Beddor gave a lot of info on what you can expect. Here's an excerpt:

'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.

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 maƮtre 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.'

The idea of a human dropping down into the logic and universe of the board game (not unlike Jumanji) might work as a film, but how did Scott end up as an interested 'player'? 'Well it was that pitch, that's where Sir Ridley got excited. After I pitched it to him, he put out his hand and said, 'What do I have to [do] to be a part of this movie?'

Beddor still sounded surprised as he recounted this part. 'So I said, 'Do you mean you want to direct it?' And he said, 'Yeah, and I will tell you why – it’s all the things you just said and the fact that I had these epic Monopoly battles with my family when I was young.''"

Wow! Not as bad as I thought it would be. Sounds really funny! Let's just hope they get somebody like Leslie Nielson to play Uncle Moneybags. I thought Ridley Scott didn't do comedies (except for A Good Year).

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