〉 The Hasbro adaptation was first at Universal, then Sony for a number of years
After being stuck in the Molasses Swamp for years, Adam Sandler’s long-gestating CANDY LAND movie is now starting from scratch at Warner Bros. The adaptation of the beloved board game, created by Eleanor Abbott and first published by Milton Bradley in 1949, was previously in development at Sony, and Universal before that. Though finer plot details are being kept under lock and key, the Happy Madison Productions/Allspark Pictures joint production will follow Sandler and his family navigating through the confectionery kingdom in order to return home, tonally in the vein of Sandler’s Bedtime Stories.
The comedic action/adventure was co-written by Sandler and Robert Smigel, who took over after a slew of other scribes. Enchanted helmer Kevin Lima was attached to direct, though I’m now told that he’s likely falling off. Sandler will produce with Heather Parry under his banner, while Brian Goldner and Bennett Schneir will produce for Hasbro’s Allspark, with Josh Feldman overseeing.
The move’s a bad omen for the rocky Sandler/Sony partnership, which has become tepid following several under-performing releases and leaked emails from Sony execs trashing the former SNL star. Together, they’ll next release the Chris Columbus comedy Pixels, which sees Sandler and friends fending off Alien attack in the form of old-school arcade games. The flick bows on July 24, 2015, with Kevin James, Josh Gad, Peter Dinklage, and Michelle Monaghan starring.
Just as the quest to rescue King Kandy in the Candy Land game is filled with obstacles, so have been any attempts to bring the adventure to the big screen. Initially set up at Universal and called CandyLand (notice the absence of a space), the project was set with Men In Black 3 scribe Etan Cohen and centered on a group of people entering an enchanted board game.
Chris Morgan rewrote Cohen’s script before it went to Kung Fu Panda duo Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger, who envisioned a new approach for an all-ages action/comedy more in the vein of a Lord of The Rings-style fantasy/adventure.
Following the massive failure of Universal’s dud Battleship, the project was scooped up in 2012 by Sandler and Sony. Now here we are, with Sandler and Warner taking their best shot at bringing to life the incredible story of Lord Licorice, Princess Lolly, and Gloppy the Molasses Monster.
Sandler is currently in production on comedy/western The Ridiculous Six, which will be the first release of the four-movie deal Netflix signed with him in October. Come fall, he’ll release Sony’s animated horror/comedy sequel Hotel Transylvania 2.
Allspark will next release Blumhouse’s teen musical/comedy Jem and the Holograms and is in development on a sequel to 2014’s horror hit Ouija and Paramount’s forthcoming swarm of Transformers sequels.
Clark Allen | Associate Editor