Universal consults its Ouija board and says GOODBYE to the live-action movie
Universal had been working with producer Michael Bay on a feature film version of the classic board game OUIJA since 2008 but earlier this week finally gave up and put the film into turnaround. Rumors of OUIJA's demise have been floating around for a few months. I first heard rumblings of trouble back in May but at the time, Universal claimed all was well. Not so much as Bay and director McG are taking their project elsewhere, shopping the film to other studios around Hollywood.
As has frequently been the case with projects at Universal that get dropped, the issue seemed to be an ever-expanding budget. Simon Kinberg was recently brought in to do a rewrite that would make the film more family-friendly (think of a JUMANJI-style adventure) but execs weren't satisfied enough with the script to continue moving forward.
As Vulture, who brings us this news, notes, Bay reportedly phoned up his friends at Paramount where he's directed his past three films and inquired about their interest in OUIJA but they too passed on the film.
After a few expensive disappointments, Universal has been taking a closer look at all their upcoming tentpoles and in this year alone has waved goodbye to projects from Oscar-nominated directors Guillermo del Toro (IN THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS) and Ron Howard (THE DARK TOWER). Unfortunately this cost-cutting measure came in too late to stop BATTLESHIP, which is cruising full speed ahead with a budget well over $200 million.