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Universal Spells ‘NO’ for ‘Ouija’ Movie

It’s not difficult to notice the unoriginality in Hollywood nowadays. Sure, we sometimes get fresh, new ideas in film – or at least unique takes on old ideas – but most of those come from independent cinema, as studios are always looking to cash in on things that the public already knows and loves.

For the past several years, comic books were all the studio rage; now big studios are tackling fairy tales with dark twists such as Snow White and the Huntsman. However, it seems that Universal may have gotten ahead of itself when trying to make films based on popular board games.

According to Vulture, Universal has pulled out on Ouija, a film based around the popular psychic board game, which means that another studio can snag the rights. 

Ouija
came as part of an extensive deal with Milton Bradley and Hasbro to turn their popular properties into films, but it looks like Universal doesn’t want any part of it now; they’ll even go as far to pay the hefty penalty fee of $5 million to get rid of this likely clunker. Universal also abandoned plans for a film based on Hasbro’s “Clue” not even a month ago.

One might wonder if this is a sign of things to come – or at least Universal’s expecting to come – of next year’s Battleship starring Brooklyn Decker, Liam Neeson, and Grammy Award-winning singer Rihanna in her feature acting debut. Ouija will be shopped to potential buyers next week by director McG and producer Michael Bay. Paramount has reportedly already turned them down.

Is Universal making the right call to change its mind on these board game properties, or does it spell out T-R-O-U-B-L-E for the studio?

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