‘Mr. and Mrs. Smith’ writer joins ‘Ouija,’ as Hollywood continues to roll the dice on board games


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EXCLUSIVE: ‘Transformers: Dark of the Moon’ looks to continue that franchise’s winning streak when it comes out in a few weeks. It’s an open question whether movies based on other toys or board games will do as well. There’s been plenty of skepticism on another Hasbro-derived film, Pete Berg’s 2012 release ‘Battleship,’ but a third Hasbro title is pushing ahead just the same.

‘Ouija,’ the supernatural board game that’s being turned into an action-adventure by McG (‘Terminator Salvation’) and Michael Bay’s production company, is getting a boost from Simon Kinberg.


The A-list Hollywood writer -- he’s written scripts for ‘Mr. and Mrs. Smith’ and ‘Sherlock Holmes,’ among others -- is coming on to do a polish of the script for the Universal film, according to two sources with knowledge of the project who asked not to be identified. (A previous version was written by Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis, veterans of ‘Lost’ who also wrote ‘Tron: Legacy.’) Universal confirmed the hire.

The move does offer an interesting window into the direction of the film. Although some were quick to assume the movie would have a supernatural bent, Kinberg’s specialty is big, upscale -- and sometimes comedic -- action pieces.

Kinberg and McG have a history together: They collaborated on the director’s upcoming romantic comedy ‘This Means War.’ More to the point, when you hire a writer like Kinberg it means you’re serious about developing the movie, not letting things stagnate. With ‘Risk’ bringing on a writer last week, the board-game renaissance keeps pushing its pawns forward.

-- Steven Zeitchik