As if the idea of a “Candyland” movie wasn’t bad enough, along comes Adam Sandler. Continuing their purge of Hasbro-related franchises — which saw “Stretch Armstrong” go to Relativity yesterday — Universal has let their deal on “Candyland” expire as well, as Sony Pictures and Sandler’s Happy Madison production shingle will now take it on. Good lord.
“Enchanted” director Kevin Lima is still on board to direct the live action movie, which Sony hopes will be another mega hit like “The Smurfs.” You asked for this, people. However, there has been a switchup in the writing department. Out are Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger (“Kung Fu Panda 2“) and in is Sandler and frequent collaborator Robert Smigel. We assume that their approach will be completely different from the epic “Lord of the Rings” or “Alice in Wonderland“-style version Aibel and Berger told us about last year. If anything, it will probably include substantial roles for David Spade and Rob Schneider.
Universal had inked a four year, four movie deal with Hasbro, but that relationship will have yielded only one movie: “Battleship.” Clearly there was reticence on the studio’s part to go whole hog on a genre of film that is unproven, and with a shitload of money already spent on the still unimpressive-looking “Battleship,” they wisely want to avoid getting soaked any further. But can Sandler and Sony succeed? If they do, you can bet “Slinky The Movie” won’t be too far off. [THR]