It appears that Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes production company has narrowed its choice of a director for an adaptation of Hasbro’s Ouija board game to three helmers with serious action film cred including Pierre Morel, who directed the 2009 surprise smash Taken, Sylvain White who helmed the underrated adaptation of DC’s The Losers, and Scott Stewart, who presided over the innovative supernatural thriller Legion.  A decision should come soon since Deadline is reporting that Universal and Platinum Dunes are hoping for a Thanksgiving 2012 release, which means they will have to get the film into production by next summer.  The Ouija movie has assumed a greater importance for both Universal and Hasbro since the Stretch Armstrong film has been moved back and won't even start production until 2013.


Tron: Legacy and Lost writers Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis have penned the screenplay for the adaptation of Ouija (see “’Lost’ Scribes On Board for ‘Ouija’”), which will be a big budget action/adventure movie rather than a horror film.  The amorphous Ouija game’s lack of a backstory makes it a particularly open-ended and flexible sort of movie source material that screenwriters could take in a number of different directions.  Certainly the considerable action movie skills of the directors whose names have been leaked by the studio would tend to confirm the action-film nature of the Ouija adaptation.


Deadline reports that Universal plans to spend $100 million on Ouija, which would put it firmly in the mid-to-upper range for action films.  For example Red cost $58 million and The Expendables’ production budget came in at $80 million, while Michael Bay’s adaptations of Hasbro’s Transformers came in at $150 million and $200 million for the first two films in the series respectively.  Universal’s adaptation of Hasbro’s board game Battleship will also cost $200 million—a budget that has raised more than a few eyebrows in Hollywood (see “Board Game Movies Hurting Universal?”).