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Creatures From The Depths Of Hell: McG & Breck Eisner Competing For Director's Chair On 'Ouija'

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist December 20, 2010 at 2:38AM

Spirit, Please Come Forward And Cancel This Movie When it was announced that the second Hasbro property after the gates, following Peter Berg's actioner "Battleship," would be "Ouija," based on the board game that's been succesfully freaking out teenagers for decades, most, including us, assumed it would be some kind of teen horror flick -- after all, the likes of "Drag Me To Hell" and "Long Time Dead" have used the system as a conceit within the horror genre. But Universal have given the film a key tentpole slot, on November 9th, 2012, and we began to suspect that the film might be aiming at more quadrants than simply horror fans. And indeed, that seems to be the case.
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Spirit, Please Come Forward And Cancel This Movie



When it was announced that the second Hasbro property after the gates, following Peter Berg's actioner "Battleship," would be "Ouija," based on the board game that's been succesfully freaking out teenagers for decades, most, including us, assumed it would be some kind of teen horror flick -- after all, the likes of "Drag Me To Hell" and "Long Time Dead" have used the system as a conceit within the horror genre. But Universal have given the film a key tentpole slot, on November 9th, 2012, and we began to suspect that the film might be aiming at more quadrants than simply horror fans. And indeed, that seems to be the case.

The film's writers, Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, recently spoke to Assignment X (via STYD), while doing promotional duties for "Tron: Legacy," and revealed that the picture wasn't a horror movie. Horowitz told the site that "It's "Indiana Jones" - that kind of tone. It's a big adventure movie." Heat Vision have now confirmed this, calling the project 'a four-quadrant supernatural adventure centering around a family, with influences from "The Mummy" and "Indiana Jones."

Furthermore, they've also suggested a couple of names in the running for the director's chair on the film, and they're appropriately tentpole-friendly. While names like Sylvain White ("The Losers") and Pierre Morel ("Taken") have made failed presentations to studio executives in recent weeks, and Scott Stewart ("Priest") and John Moore ("The Omen") were also rejected, it now seems that the latest contenders are Breck Eisner, director of "Sahara" and "The Crazies," and our favorite goateed-Damien-Lewis-after-suffering-an-allergic-reaction-to-a-bee-sting-lookalike, McG ("Terminator: Salvation") have leapt to the front of the pack.

Both directors pitched presentations to Universal in recent weeks, and executives, and producers at Michael Bay's Platinum Dunes company, are expected to make a decision over the holiday.

It's not like we ever held out much hope for this project, but the two front-runners are both fairly bleak prospects. Our feeling on McG, the exact cross between a less-technically-competent Brett Ratner , the Stay-Puft marshmallow man and Donnie Wahlberg, have been fairly clear over time (clue for new readers: we think he's terrible), while Eisner made a wretched debut with the similarly "Indiana Jones"-indebted "Sahara," although to be fair, "The Crazies" marked something of an improvement, at least delivering on the atmosphere, even if it was hugely derivative. He'd be the lesser of two evils, but we imagine that the more family-friendly McG is probably the front-runner here, although post-production duties on "This Means War" may be an issue depending on how soon Universal wants to get this one rolling.

We suppose that, with a killer script, it'd be theoretically possible for either of these two to make a faintly entertaining film like the original Stephen Sommers 'Mummy.' But unfortunately, the screenplay comes from Kitsis & Horowitz, who proved with "Tron: Legacy" over the weekend that they have no talent for telling a story, creating compelling characters, making any fucking sense whatsoever, or doing anything other than lifting elements from "The Matrix Reloaded," "The Wizard Of Oz" and "Star Wars" and reassembling them in a new order. It's a way off, but we're still more scared of this film than anything we could actually conjure up from beyond the grave. "Ouija" hits theaters November 9th, 2012. Prepare accordingly.

This article is related to: Films, McG, Breck Eisner, Ouija


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