Fox signing a three-year deal with Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds’ Maximum Effort isn’t necessarily that surprising, given the success of that film and Reynolds’ overall prominence. Reynolds again partnering with Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, who wrote the first Deadpool movie, also isn’t that surprising. But it’s sort of fascinating that the first project under Reynolds’ new Fox deal, and the one these three are teaming up for, is…”a live action film based on the Hasbro board game Clue.”
Hasbro looking to make movies out of its properties is nothing new, as that’s produced everything from the My Little Pony films to the Transformers series to the G.I. Joe flicks to 2000’s much-hated Dungeons and Dragons. And there have been Hasbro board game movies before, but many have been panned, from 2012’s Battleship (honestly, it’s surprising it even got 34 per cent on RottenTomatoes) to 2014’s Ouija (and the 2016 follow-up Ouija: Origin of Evil) to the direct-to-DVD Candy Land: The Great Lollipop Adventure in 2005.
However, 1985’s Clue is the first live-action movie Hasbro ever made, and while it didn’t do well at first (pulling in $14.6 million against a budget of $15 million), it’s found huge success as a cult favorite since then, and has become by far the most beloved of those tie-in titles. Given how unique the original movie is, it’s quite remarkable to see that they’re going to try a remake of it.
Clue is fascinating because it works on a lot of levels. (Adam B. Vary’s in-depth 2013 BuzzFeed oral history on it is highly recommended.) The movie has an incredible cast, from Tim Curry to Madeline Kahn to Michael McKean to Eileen Brennan, and John Landis worked on the screenplay (with director Jonathan Lynn). It manages to both engross you in the question of who committed the murders (with the multiple endings, which are all shown on the DVD/digital copies, making this fascinating, even if that idea hurt the movie at the box office) while at the same time throwing in a whole lot of jokes. And the whole thing’s full of rapid banter, revelations about the characters’ hidden lives, and impressive performances. It’s also incredibly GIFable/clippable, especially when it comes to Kahn’s legendary “Flames… flames on the side of my face!” rant:
So, there’s a lot to live up to for Reynolds, Reese and Wernick. And no matter what they do, some fans of the original won’t be happy. But if you’re going to have a Clue remake, the Deadpool team actually seems like a good group for it; they’ve already managed balancing black humor with plot once, and making a movie both serious and funny at the same time. And Reynolds himself has some notable comedy chops, from Two Guys, A Girl and A Pizza Place through National Lampoon’s Van Wilder and Adventureland. We’ll see how this goes, and what this group is able to pull off.