Though it would be nice to see Hollywood try to develop more original ideas rather than adapt any kind of property they can find, the most recent trend of adaptations seem to be based around toy franchises, including Transformers and G.I. Joe. With the latest announcement that Fast & Furious and Star Trek Beyond director, Justin Lin, will be directing the latest adaptation of a toy franchise "Hot Wheels," let's take a look at some other major toy franchises that deserve to be adapted for the big screen.
Now, this may be targeted more towards the male demographic in my generation, but this was an awesome franchise that really proved it could be fun for both boys and girls. The best segment of the toy line was the ships, one of which is pictured above, being an endlessly entertaining activity full of little notches and hidden gadgets.
The toy line ended up spinning off into a TV series that lasted for three seasons from 1999-2002, as well as a direct-to-DVD animated film. Though the formula for the toy line and show was pretty basic, it could really work well in a live-action format. Telling the stories of real-life heroism has really become popular on the big screen again, films such as Deepwater Horizon and Lone Survivor proving to be big successes for the genre, and bringing this series of heroes saving people from major natural disasters could really work with a proper script and some solid visual effects.
Let's face it, if you had the Bionicle action figures that shot projectiles, you were the one that everybody wanted to hang out with after school. The Bionicle action figure line has been one of Lego's most popular franchises since its inception in 2001, seeing a reboot in 2015 known as Generation 2 that was still a hit with kids.
The series has been spun-off into one short-lived Netflix series and four direct-to-DVD films, the first three of which earned a lot of praise from fans. Though the Netflix series was supposed to serve as a conclusion for the toy franchise's story, the stories for the toys have always been such an intriguing and fast-paced collection that it would be great to see it adapted for a big-screen adaptation. With the recent success of The Lego Movie, the toy company should see that a movie following these toys could really be a huge hit.
Movies based on board games are split down the middle on their success on the big screen, Clue being the biggest critical success for the genre at the moment (Ouija: Origin of Evil is currently sitting at a respectable 80% on Rotten Tomatoes), with the first Ouija film being the biggest financial success of the genre.
Though the Ouija board offers a seemingly easy opportunity for terrifying stories, Candy Land already has an outline of finding the lost king of the titular world. The game, which already attracts younger audiences thanks to its simple structure, brighter colors and appealing title, would be perfect to adapt into a big-screen film. A large animated film adaptation could be an incredibly fun and smart flick if put into the right hands, particularly Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, the writer/directors of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.
Thomas The Tank Engine
Now look, there are two technicalities to this entry: 1.) The toy series for Thomas began after the original TV series, and 2.) Thomas has previously been in a big-screen adaptation. However, Thomas is still more well-known for the toy series, and the film adaptation was so poorly received and a box office failure that it needs a second chance at making a big success.
The universe of train engines, cars and other vehicles that are alive on the fictional island of Sodor has always been a pleasantly sweet and fun series to watch, still being a big draw with younger audiences after over 30 years on the air, that it only makes sense to try and bring it back to life on the big screen.
However, for it to work this time, the film cannot go back to the live-action format the first film tried. Now while there have been plenty of direct-to-DVD specials using the actual toys for playing the characters, a feature-length film using the same format, completely animated, could really bring the Island of Sodor's population to life.
I'll be honest, this one would be a tougher toy line to adapt for the big-screen, but there are so many potential avenues to go with it that it'd be ill-advised not to try. Like Legos, Play-Doh can be used to make practically anything, and with The Lego Movie combined the toy franchise and the audience's imagination for building things, a movie centered solely around Play-Doh could capture the same vibe.
While the whole concept behind the Risk board game is very similar to the World Wars previously fought in the early 1900s, a film based around the game could actually prove to be a very intelligent and thrilling storyline. The strategy that goes into trying to win a game takes a lot of intelligence, and the more intelligent and strategic a villain is in an action movie, the better chance the movie has at being stellar.
Actually setting up a plot based on the game might be tough initially, but with political fantasies such as Designated Survivor proving to be a hit among audiences, it's conceivable for this kind of story to work on screen. If Hollywood really wanted to make a bold move, they could try something similar to Jumanji and Zathura, in which the game's results affect the world around the characters.