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Ranking somewhere on your list of “Movies You Never Wanted to See But Are Happening Anyway” was probably Universal’s previously announced big-screen adaptation of Candy Land. Yes, the board game. Last we heard it was to be epic in scope, much like The Lord of the Rings, but just like another Hasbro property, Stretch Armstrong, earlier this week, Universal has dumped the project and now Columbia Pictures has it, with a very specific interpretation in mind.
Forget “Tolkein-esque,” Adam Sandler will lead the film and also co-write the screenplay alongside Robert Smigel. It will hit the screen under Sandler’s Happy Madison banner.
Sandler and Smigel collaborated to write You Don’t Mess with the Zohan, but given the press release’s quip about “bring[ing] alive the world of Candy Land for kids and families everywhere,” not to mention that the source material is a child-oriented board game, I wouldn’t expect the vulgar antics of “Zohan” to make their way into the film.
Unless Paul Thomas Anderson signs on to direct and the project becomes a dramedy about a man down on his luck, Sandler certainly won’t bring prestige to Candy Land, but he brings something that’s surely more important to Columbia and Hasbro at the moment: money. After several Hasbro projects went south, the toy company finally gets a break, and a likely profitable one at that.