Yes, you read that correctly: after finding a way to trim around $95 million from its projected budget, Universal Pictures is once again ready to make a movie based on Hasbro’s popular otherworldly communication device, the Ouija board.
Universal made a huge deal with Hasbro a while back that would see them turning many toys and board games into movies, but due to exceedingly large budgets the studio ultimately decided to shelf multiple projects including Ouija, which would have cost them an estimated $100 million to make. At the time of their deal, there was a stipulation that Universal would have to pay a $5 million penalty for not meeting certain deadlines…but now times have changed a bit.
According to sources the studio has done a little rearranging, and now, with a planned budget of around the same $5 million that was once a simple contract stipulation, the Ouija movie is back on.
Though the number seems astonishingly large, this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. With franchises like Paranormal Activity and recent successes such as Chronicle and Project X proving that movies—especially in the horror genre—can be made for microscopic budgets using today’s technologies and still deliver huge box office returns, it’s a recipe worth trying to replicate.
Whether that means Universal will take the found footage route with Ouija or not remains to be seen, but it certainly wouldn’t come as even slightly surprising.
As part of this new low-cost approach to the project, it’s expected that Terminator Salvation director McG, who was once attached to Ouija, will no longer be making it. Michael Bay and his Platinum Dunes crew, however, are still among the producers involved.