Big Beach Films is developing a new film exploring the origins of the world’s most popular board games. The untitled pic, which centers on the creation of the hit Parker Brothers game Monopoly, will be based on Mary Pilon’s book The Monopolists: Obsession, Fury and the Scandal Behind the World’s Favorite Board Game.
Newly elected WGA West president Howard A Rodman is scripting the adaptation, which will be a drama based on Pilon’s book. Published in February via Bloomsbury, The Monopolists traces the history of the game back to 1904, when anti-monopolist Elizabeth J. Magie Phillips invented “The Landlord’s Game” to be used as an educational tool to teach about the wrongs behind concentrating land in private monopolies. In 1935, Parker Brothers began selling a spin on The Landlord’s Game called Monopoly, based on streets in Atlantic City, N.J.
The film will also borrow from Ralph Anspach’s book The Billion Dollar Monopoly Swindle, which follows his invention of the Anti-Monopoly game. Big Beach’s Marc Turtletaub and Peter Saraf will produce, along with Diane Nabatoff.
The pic is unrelated to the long gestating Hasbro adaptation set up at Lionsgate, which Andrew Nichol is scripting. Hasbro owns Parker Brothers and has spent several years trying to get a Monopoly movie off the ground.
Rodman is repped by Gersh and Code Entertainment.
Clark Allen | Associate Editor
This news was first reported by Variety.