Big Beach Films Rolls the Dice on a Monopoly Origins Film
Between X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Richard Dawkins biopic I Origins, Leprechaun: Origins, and the upcoming films Robin Hood: Origins and Jungle Book: Origins, the Origins Connected Cinematic Universe is the strangest naturally occurring phenomenon in the present-day world of cinema. The viewing public simply cannot get enough backstory, and the persistent need to know how everything began is only going to proliferate in the years to come. The people demand explanation and so explanation they will get. In the future, summer tentpoles will tell the untold story of the hunter that murders Bambi’s mother and blockbusters will reveal the shocking truth behind the witch that ensnares Hansel and Gretel. And with a film adaptation of the smash musical Wicked allegedly on the way in 2016, the tide of origin stories ain’t slowing up any time soon.
A new report from Variety indicates that yet another origin story will enter the fray, though this one will have a basis in history and fact. This is not to be confused with the previously-reported adaptation of the Monopoly game itself, though of course we’d all love to know how the little man became so wealthy and grew such a robust mustache. No, this film will explore the circumstances surrounding the game’s conception and early development by a woman named Elizabeth J. Magie Phillips. A wholehearted anti-monopolist, Phillips created “The Landlord’s Game” in 1904 as an illustration of the deleterious effects that aggressive capitalist strategies can have on land distribution. Because whatever cruel deity reigns over this world has a real yen for tragic irony, wealthy corporate interest Parker Bros. purchased Phillips’ patent for the game, renamed it Monopoly, and made mountains of money teaching children that whoever can be the greediest will win.
It’s a pretty grabby true story, and appointed screenwriter Howard A. Rodman should be able to spin some compelling drama from it. If nothing else, it’ll make a fine addition to the ever-expanding canon of the Origins Connected Cinematic Universe. Next stop: a Sorry! origin story which takes place in hell, because Sorry! was invented by Satan to make human beings angry and miserable.