I think the world of Robert Smigel. His run at SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE is the stuff of legend; he headed up one of the greatest writing staffs in the history of television while at LATE NIGHT WITH CONAN O'BRIEN; he somehow convinced Comedy Central to put the brilliant (and cruelly short-lived) TV FUNHOUSE on the air; and, of course, he gave us Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog. Also, along with the equally amazing Dino Stamatopoulos, he gave me one of the best interviews I've ever posted to this site. Short of suicide bombing an orphanage, he can do whatever the hell he wants as far as I care.
Teaming with Adam Sandler on a big-budget adaptation of the board game CANDY LAND may be a waste of his genius, but it is not suicide bombing an orphanage. Hasbro has been hot to get this film made for years, and they've evidently abandoned their most recent attempt (which I discussed with KUNG FU PANDA writers Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger) and gone with the hit-factory that is Happy Madison. Sandler will also star and produce.
Smigel also got a writing credit on last year's critically-acclaimed JACK & JILL. I hope he's building up some kind of clout that will allow him to inflict something inspired and wrong on the moviegoing public. I miss his voice.
Here's the press release...
CULVER CITY, Calif., January 31, 2012 – Columbia Pictures, Happy Madison and Hasbro, Inc. are in final talks to develop Candy Land, a live action movie based on the bestselling Hasbro board game with Adam Sandler attached to star, it was jointly announced today by Doug Belgrad, President of Columbia Pictures, Hannah Minghella, President of Production for Columbia Pictures, and Brian Goldner, Hasbro President and CEO. Kevin Lima (Enchanted) is attached to direct the project for the studio with Sandler and Robert Smigel are in talks to write the screenplay.
Commenting on the announcement, Belgrad said, “Candy Land is more than just a game. It is a brand that children, parents and grandparents know and love. The world of Candy Land offers an extraordinary canvas upon which to create a fantastical, live-action family adventure film with a larger than life part for Adam. We are thrilled to partner with Hasbro and Happy Madison on this project.”
“The creative talent on board for this movie is amazing and we are excited to bring alive the world of Candy Land for kids and families everywhere,” Goldner added. “Sony/Columbia has been a wonderful creative partner as we develop another of our games, Risk, for the big screen. We are looking forward to working with Sony/Columbia and Adam Sandler and his team at Happy Madison Productions on this film.”
Candy Land is one of the most beloved and best known games of all time. Created in 1949, it has been played by generations of families. In the game, players go on a magical journey through fantastical lands made of candy, sweets, and ice cream: the Peppermint Forest, the Gum Drop Mountains, and the Lollypop Woods. Along the way, players encounter such iconic characters as Princess Frostine, Lord Licorice, Mr. Mint, and King Candy.
The project will be produced by Goldner (Transformers) and Hasbro’s Senior Vice President and Managing Director of Motion Pictures, Bennett Schneir (Battleship) along with Happy Madison Productions. At Columbia, development of Candy Land will be overseen by Sam Dickerman.