12 Board Game Adaptations Helmed by Famous Directors
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12 Fake Board Game Adaptations Helmed by Famous Directors

By Amanda Mae Meyncke | Seriously Random Lists | January 15, 2013 | Comments ()


After our lively discussion last week, I started envisioning other board game adaptations helmed by famous directors. While none of these are actually in production in these iterations, it's still fun to dream.



Set in a not too distant future, a few solitary and unknowable syndicates wage an an all out battle between the different factions of what's left of the world, utilizing entire continents in their thirst for world domination. While individual members of the armies attempt to stand up to empire control, the horses and cannons drown out their pitiful cries for individuality and freedom.

Directed by Michael Bay

Game of Life


Directed by Woody Allen, four separate vignettes of affluent white couples as they attempt to navigate different stages of their lives, from filling up a minivan to avoiding bankruptcy and finally ending up in Millionare Aces. Allen plays a husband who finds himself very down on his luck indeed, with too many kids and not enough money, who sees his son decide not to go to college and instead become an athlete. This decisions tears the family apart, but the four couples cross paths unexpectedly in the end.

Now, now, now, Life, now that's a game. That's something you're not expecting, you know? It's a very funny thing, you think you're playing but turns out it's playing you and it's winning. - Woody Allen

Audiences find the story depressing and confusing, but it is critically acclaimed. The Game of Life goes on to be nominated for six Academy Awards including Best Adapted Screenplay.



As we've established before, Monopoly would be a four hour documentary that follows the playing of a single game between four players with everything to lose. Narrated with great aplomb by Werner Herzog, the game follows participants as they cycle through the stages of grief, as they struggle with greed and finally, offers up a devastating introspective monolog about the abuse of power and the desperate evil of human nature.

Directed and Narrated by Werner Herzog

Connect Four


Two step kids are forced to befriend one another when their parents become engaged, and find they have more in common than they initially thought, including an obsession with the game of Connect Four. The two start a fan club and a website devoted to the game, and end up hosting the first ever Connect Four championship tournament in the days leading up to their parents wedding.

Directed by Wes Anderson, the film is criticized for being overly on-the-nose and stylized.



After a building that he designs collapses, killing his wife and children, an architect (Steve Buscemi) is forced to confront his deepest fears as he struggles to rebuild his life and the building that destroyed it. After another collapse threatens to end his professional career, the architect must either accept defeat or continue to reach towards the sky.

A dark comedy directed by the Coen Brothers



A wild, decadent journey through the depths of a literary mind as a librarian (Scarlett Johansson) falls deeply in love with a crossword puzzle expert (Lee Pace). With words as their greatest love and their greatest adversaries, the two embark on the process of dueling novels that gain attention within the literary world, eventually leading up to a final wordsmithing game to establish who is the finest wielder of the English language.

Directed by Sofia Coppola



A stirring 1960s medical drama starring Danny Huston as a psychopath who has rigged different parts of the human body to explode if a trained surgeon, played by Clive Owen, performs operations incorrectly. As time runs out, the two remain locked in an intricate dance, with the lives of hundreds of patients, and the surgeon's wife, Nicole Kidman, at stake.

Directed by Tony Gilroy

Operation was initially green lit in 1998 and was to star Greg Kinnear and Kevin Spacey, development hell took over and the film languished for a decade until Gilroy took it on and turned it into a period piece.


Two shy, mute artists meet in an airport and must draw pictures in order to communicate. When they are torn apart by circumstance they find themselves desperate in their search to find one another, each creating entire gallery shows on different coasts, intimate portraits of their brief time together. When they do find one another after many years, they play out the remainder of their days by drawing together, daily, images of the world around them and sights as of yet unseen.

Directed by Won Kar Wai, the film is moving and elegant, but far too little seen despite critical attention.

Settlers of Catan


While fans are initially excited to see their beloved Catan up on the big screen hoping for kind of a "Big Fish" feel to things, Burton brings Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter and his whole madcap crew along for the ride, and Brick, Ore, Wool, Grain and Lumber all become actual characters, replete with musical interludes and strange Danny Elfman soundtrack.

Thought Kathryn Bigelow was initially set to direct with an entirely different spin on things, Tim Burton took over.

Candy Land


An animated wild adventure that follows the story almost exactly, a group of kids trying to make their way home, instead getting lost and making their way through Candy Land, encountering the various characters such as Lord Licorice and Queen Frostine. When they finally arrive home, they wonder if it ever occurred until one of them is sucked back in. Candy Land 2?

Directed by Wreck-It Ralph director Rich Moore.

The film is harangued by Wreck-It Ralph fans, who suggest that Candy Land is far too similar to the sugary sequences in their beloved Ralph. The film is initially scorned by eventually finds a second life in the DVD and overseas markets.

Chutes and Ladders

terry gilliam filming1.jpg

A jungle fantasy that finds adventurers hot on the trail of ancient treasure as they attempt to scale a mountain by any means necessary, including an ancient system of ladders and avoiding the venomous snakes that populate the mountainside. As one adventurer after another begins to fall, the mountain begins to play intricate tricks on the remaining adventurers.

Directed by Terry Gilliam, the film is a huge cult hit but is strange and confusing at times.

Guess Who?


The startling story of an amnesiac (John Krasinski) and a criminal mastermind (Emily Blunt) who meet by accident on the Subway and fall in love. When the amnesiac witnesses a crime and must attempt to help the police with a difficult case, he finds himself caught between his lady love and the law, forced to pick the criminal out of a huge lineup of possible suspects.

Directed by Gus Van Sant

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • Buck Forty

    Chinese Checkers - a goof ball action comedy starring Nicholas Cage as a US immigration officer who must stop Lucy Lui from illegally entering the country. The action criss crosses the US as time and again Cage thwarts Lui's attempts to enter via a different airport. Both actors wear multiple disguises in their efforts to fool the other. Directed by Blake Edwards before his death in 2010, but cheduled for release in January 2014 on Netflix.

  • Buscemi~!

    I would watch Jenga...

  • winged chorus

    I would definitely watch Monopoly, but only if it was 6 hours long with an intermission and only if they all get eaten by bears at the end.

    But I think that Snakes and Ladders (that's what we call it over here) should be directed by Ben Affleck. A movie following the ups and downs of various petty criminals, corrupt politicians, union bosses and venal cops set in gritty 1970s Boston. Rolling the dice of life (so to speak), some quickly climb to dizzying heights, bypassing those seemingly more deserving, while others suddenly and without warning slide to the very bottom of the heap. The only thing they all have in common is that they keep going, knowing the arbitrary and unfair nature of the game, choosing to roll again, eyes fixed only on the next square. No charismatic mob boss is too lofty to fall spectacularly to the bottom, no hapless petty thug too lowly to climb a small ladder and win a small victory. Starring Casey Affleck, Titus Welliver, Ian McSchane, Samantha Morton and a Wahlberg. I feel like Liev Schreiber should be in there somewhere too, but then I feel like that almost always. Also Ben Forster! And Sam Rockwell! Or am I just getting silly?

  • poopnado

    Ooh MOUSE TRAP, a psychological thriller that takes place in the mind of a psychotic man. A group of scientists in the future must use their futuristic technology of the future to explore his brain and discover where he has hidden his victims, one of whom is still alive. But WATCH OUT it's a freaking trap. Directed by Guillermo del Toro. Or Michel Gondry. Whatever.

  • Lovely Bones

    I'd basically watch any of these excluding the Bay film, because obviously, the Burton film, since we already know how that'd go, and possibly the Van Sant adaptation of Guess Who. Van Sant's career is about 50 % solid-to-great and 50 % horrendously bad. Seriously, he made My Own Private Idaho, and yet also made Gerry and Finding Forrester. The mind boggles.

  • yocean

    Nop, Jenga: Romantic Comedy starring Ryan Gosling. You will fall...in love.

  • babykangarootribbiani

    i would totally watch the connect four movie if it were real, and that does sound kind of wes anderson-y.

  • Quatermain

    Re: that picture of Johnny Depp and Helena Bohnham Carter. I don't think I've seen a picture that managed to sum up two people so nicely and completely.

  • BWeaves

    Correct me if I'm wrong (and I know you will) but aren't "Monopoly: The Movie" and "Candyland: The Movie" actually in the works?

    How about "Mystery Date: The Movie?" You open the door and who knows who you'll find on the other side. Directed by John Waters.

  • Wembley

    Wasn't there a Mystery Date movie? Ethan Hawke, I believe.

  • TenaciousJP

    Ants in the Pants.

    A sadistic mob boss uses African Fire Ants to coerce his rivals. But what happens when the ants get in his pants? The answer is blood. Lots of blood.

    Starring Chisitopher Walken and Bobcat Goldthwait. Directed by Eli Roth.

  • Bert_McGurt

    A young OCD-afflicted man eating some pie in a Manhattan coffee shop comes across six lost iPhones and must return them to the correct owners. His only clues to the parentage of the (locked) phones come in the form of home screen notifications, and he must use his encyclopedic knowledge of seemingly useless and unrelated facts to get the phones back where they belong.

    Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Leonardo DiCaprio and Ellen Page star in Christopher Nolan's Trivial Pursuit.

  • AudioSuede


  • Brown

    Descent: Journey to the Dark, Mage Knight, Android:Netrunner, and Twilight Imperium(forgone conclusion on a trilogy) would be far better picks. Mice and Mystics could be the family movie entry.

  • damnitjanet

    Sadly, several of these sound better than some of what is REALLY out there.

    Barrel of Monkeys. A man receives a notice that a distant relative has sent him a parcel, to be collected at the docks. In a giant barrel, he finds surprisingly intelligent, and flexible, monkeys. He then plans to use these monkeys in a dastardly scheme to climb to the top of the Empire State Building, and fling poo at unsuspecting passers-by. Only his distant cousin who first discovered these monkeys, stands between him and poo-pocalypse.

  • Samantha Klein

    Please understand that I would absolutely watch Scrabble regardless (Lee Pace + crosswords = swoon), but is ScarJo negotiable?

  • Samantha Klein

    For instance, I have experience in librarianship, acting, crosswords, AND novels, and I would probably do it for much cheaper.

  • JoannaRobinson


  • anikitty

    so..is it bad that I would probably watch Guess Who?, Connect Four, and Scrabble?

  • Bodhi

    Scrabble needs to happen

  • Anne At Large

    I was all over Scrabble until I got to the director.

  • Nico

    "Guess who?" is just a remake of "Clean Slate" staring Dana Carvey. Damn you Hollywood and your incessant remakes. Leave well enough alone.

  • Wembley

    Hungry Hungry Hippos.
    Newlyweds on a honeymoon African safari run afoul of ravenous man-eating hippopotami.

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