Kevin Hart, trying to emerge from the other side of his Oscars controversy, has signed on to star in a film based on Monopoly. Yes, the board game. Before you bemoan how Hollywood is unoriginal or running out of ideas, this project has actually been in the works for years, with Ridley Scott even attached to direct at one point.
But now it will be Hart re-teaming with Tim Story, who has directed almost all of his standup specials, as well as films such as Ride Along, for a film based on the classic, long-running board game.
The actual plot is being kept under wraps for now, and a writer and shoot date have not even been set. A previous version of the film revolved around a young man residing in the game’s modest Baltic Avenue on a quest to make a fortune.
Obviously the big question is how the hell you turn Monopoly into a film. We’ve seen adaptations of board games before, such as Battleship and Clue, but both of those fitted snugly into action and mystery genres, respectively. How a writer will be able to manufacture a plot out of a game as repetitive and, often, soul-crushing as Monopoly will be fascinating.
Of course this also points to Hollywood’s current fascination with developing projects that are based on anything with name brand recognition. Whether audiences will actually come out for a film based on Monopoly is another question though.
Hart can currently be seen starring in the remake of The Intouchables, The Upside, alongside Bryan Cranston, and he’ll finish off the year with a sequel to Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle. Story has been at work on the reboot of Shaft, which is set to open in June.