Ouija movie could conjure Pierre Morel


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EXCLUSIVE: Of all the toys and board games being used as the basis for movies, the one with the most elastic sense of possibility may be Ouija.

Unlike a Stretch Armstrong or a Battleship, this Hasbro game doesn’t have much in the way of narrative backstory. It basically involves a group of players sitting around a board asking personal questions of the ‘mystifying oracle’; players move a triangular gamepiece -- uh, we mean supernatural forces exert their mystical will -- to supply an answer.


Which means you can turn the movie into ... anything at all.

Now it looks like the malleable premise is getting a little shape. ‘Taken’ director Pierre Morel is a lead candidate to land the director’s job on the film, according to sources who asked not to be identified because the discussions are still in an early stage.

While the Ouija movie could be a traditional horror picture (think pretty young things haunted by strange occurences on a creepy sleepover), it’s actually being developed as an action-adventure in the vein of ‘National Treasure.’ Michael Bay’s production company, Platinum Dunes, and several ‘Lost’ writers are behind it. The Morel discussions underscore the adventure scope of the film; the director’s 2009 phenomenon had plenty of high-speed chases and action.

Morel is busy at the moment working on the much-chewed-over ‘Dune’ reboot. And discussions are still preliminary -- other directors are in the mix too -- so no one is going to rush this film into production. But with reports that another Universal Hasbro movie, ‘Stretch Armstrong,’ could be pushed to 2013, it could make the studio’s urgency for a big action movie -- the exact sort of picture that ‘Ouija’ is being conceived as -- that much greater.

-- Steven Zeitchik