It was only a year ago the world learned that Ridley Scott, the director of "Alien," would be directing a big screen adaptation of the classic Parker Brothers board game "Monopoly." Then, earlier this year, MTV exclusively learned from producer and Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner that the focus of the plot would be the world's financial markets.
While that may very well still be the plan, it wasn't always the case as the story was originally conceived. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, "Looking Glass Wars" author Scott Beddor -- he conceived the original "Monopoly" pitch -- goes into great detail on the ideas that eventually brought a director of Scott's caliber on board.
"I took the approach of thinking of the main character falling down a rabbit hole and into a real place called Monopoly City," he revealed. Not terribly surprising, considering what Beddor has done with "Looking Glass Wars," a literary re-casting of the characters and situations of "Alice in Wonderland." And he doesn't stop there either. In the interview, Beddor offers a fairly complete synopsis of the movie's basic setup:
"I created a comedic, lovable loser who lives in Manhattan and works at a real estate company and he’s not very good at his job but he’s great at playing Monopoly. And the world record for playing is 70 straight days – over 1,600 hours – and he wanted to try to convince his friends to help him break that world record. They think he is crazy. They kid him about this girl and they're playing the game and there’s this big fight. And he’s holding a Chance card and after they’ve left he says, ‘Damn, I wanted to use that Chance card,’ and he throws it down. He falls asleep and then he wakes up in the morning and he’s holding the Chance card, and he thinks, ‘That’s odd.’"
"He’s all groggy and he goes down to buy some coffee and he reaches into his pocket and all he has is Monopoly money. All this Monopoly money pours out. He’s confused and embarrassed and the girl reaches across the counter and says, ‘That’s OK.’ And she gives him change in Monopoly money. He walks outside and he’s in this very vibrant place, Monopoly City, and he’s just come out of a Chance Shop. As it goes on, he takes on the evil Parker Brothers in the game of Monolopy. He has to defeat them. It tries to incorporate all the iconic imageries -- a sports car pulls up, there's someone on a horse, someone pushing a wheelbarrow -- and rich Uncle Pennybags, you're going to see him as the maître d' at the restaurant and he's the buggy driver and the local eccentric and the doorman at the opera. There's all these sight gags."
Bear in mind, that's the original pitch. Beddor is quick to admit that it's been some time since the idea was conceived, and it's likely changed since then. There's another writer on the project now, and the world's financial markets have crumbled since that initial announcement. For more from Beddor, make sure you head over and check out the full interview on the LA Times' Hero Complex blog.