Adaptations, sequels, reboots -- nary a day goes by without news of some newfangled iteration of entertainment properties big and small, beloved and forgotten. You can’t be blamed for yawning in the face of all this unoriginality. Yet the burgeoning big screen version of Hasbro’s “Candy Land” board game should be a lesson to every would-be producer: assemble enough top-tier talent and even the most jaded cinemagoer has got to get excited.
The “Candy Land” script is being penned by “Tropic Thunder” scribe Etan Cohen and directed by Kevin Lima, the helmer behind the surprisingly good “Enchanted.” After throwing together this stellar crew, the film’s exec producer and CEO of Hasbro Brian Goldner dished out an MTV News exclusive first look at the film’s development -- details of which have not been publicly discussed before.
So, er, what the heck is this movie going to be about? “Imagine if you took that basic idea of going to a better place, and then allowed the audience to go to that same place together,” Goldner told us. “But then you come to find out, like every other place that’s promised to just be all better and all sweets and candy, you come to find out there’s actually some controversy there as well, that of course the stars of the movie have to solve for.”
Goldner calls the adventure story/mortality tale "very human and very natural," although time will tell how natural a fantastical world of chocolate bonbons and rainbow jawbreakers can really be.
Still, he maintains Lima and Cohen “really understand this brand.” In the hands of Cohen, I’m willing to believe most anything is possible. At its core, “Tropic Thunder” contained a complex meta-narrative about Hollywood egos, movie-making machinations and the nature of storytelling itself -- all gussied up in the slick veneer of a rollicking action flick. In the hands of a lesser talent, “Thunder” could have turned out incomprehensible, pretentious or, worst of all, boring.
But that sucker rocked, and if Cohen can pull off such a feat -- and Lima can so successfully engage audiences in “Enchanted,” yet another tale about a musical princess -- why can’t they enliven a board game invented by a nurse who worked in a 1940s polio ward?
“The idea was an escape,” said Goldner. “It was for kids who really couldn’t get up, [so] how could they sort of project to play in this beautiful world of sweets and colors, and take them to a better place.”
Does “Candy Land” give you a psyched-up sweet tooth or a give-me-a-break headache? Can über-talented Cohen and Lima give us a movie for which we’d pay good money?