With almost every big release coming in the form of a sequel, reboot or adaptation these days, it's popular party fodder to look down at Hollywood moviemakers and claim they're running out of ideas. While that may very well be true, at least they're mining their ideas from some increasingly unexpected places lately.
With the arrival of the actually kinda entertaining teaser trailer for "The LEGO Movie," we're looking ahead to some of the oddest oddball adaptations in the Hollywood pipeline.
1. 'Grumpy Cat'
Based On: The "Grumpy Cat" meme
Grumpy Cat is a cat that has become popular on the Internet for looking grumpy. He also recently took home "Meme of the Year" honors at the 2013 Webby Awards (because that's a thing) and will be given the ability to move, speak, and jump the shark in Broken Road Productions' recently announced "Grumpy Cat Movie." Broken Roads' Todd Garner, who's responsible for "Paul Blart: Mall Cop," "Zookeeper" and other movies where Kevin James tumbles about, says "We think we can build a big family comedy around this character,” to which we respond, "F'real?"
2. 'Teddy Bear'
Based On: A DeviantArt Drawing
If you aren't familiar with DeviantArt, it's a huge online community designed for people to share their artwork. And if you aren't familiar with teddy bears, you had a terrible childhood. (Boom!) When software engineer Alex Panagopoulos posted a pretty damn cool illustration of a wooden sword-wielding teddy bear guarding a sleeping child from a nightmare creature to his DeviantArt page, he probably never imaged it would catch the attention of one Dwayne Johnson and get optioned for a movie. Is it just us or does this one actually have some potential?
3. 'Rome Sweet Rome'
Based On: A Reddit post
"Rome Sweet Rome" was a short work of fiction posted on Reddit that posed a question we've all asked ourselves at one time or another: Could a modern United States Marine unit take down all the armies of Ancient Rome? Written by military historian and two-time Jeopardy winner James Erwin, the idea started as a single post but eventually became a Reddit phenomenon that caught the attention of Warner Bros. Take note, kids: Reddit isn't just for wasting time at the office ... it's also useful for securing movie deals with major motion picture studios.
4. 'Hungry Hungry Hippos'
Based On: The Hasbro game
Remember playing Hungry Hungry Hippos as a kid? Remember, as you were indiscriminately pummeling your hippo, trying to catch all the marbles in sight, thinking "Man, this would really make a phenomenal movie"? Neither do we. Nonetheless, Hasbro, who after "Battleship," "G.I. Joe" and "Transformers," appears determined to convert every one of their toys into films, has put the "Hungry Hungry Hippos" movie no one asked for in development. The toy company also has "Monopoly," "Candy Land," "Stretch Armstrong" and "Ouija" movies in the works as well.
5. 'Angry Birds'
Based On: The wildly successful video game app
If you've ever played Angry Birds (and you almost certainly have), you're probably familiar with the game's "plot" as the annoying animated sequences that come up between levels and leave you desperately trying to find a "skip" button. But, like all incredibly popular things, Angry Birds was destined to be turned into a movie. The inevitable became official with Rovio Entertainment announcing a 2016 release date earlier this year. With "Simpsons" scribe John Vitti and "Despicable Me" producer John Cohen on board, there's an outside shot "Angry Birds" (in 3D, natch) might just be watchable.
Based On: The classic arcade game
Considering how difficult it seems to be to adapt visually and thematically complex video games into worthwhile movies, it's tough to believe an adaptation of the arcade classic "Asteroids" would be in any way watchable. But Hollywood has decided to disregard common sense and push ahead with "Asteroids," which is apparently not a disaster movie but a "space opera" (?) that takes place in an asteroid belt and revolves around "two brothers who have to go through a seminal experience to figure out their relationship," which, we must say, is quite a bit to extrapolate from a game where a triangle spins around and shoots blobs.
7. 'Magic 8 Ball'
Based On: The Mattel fortune-telling toy
Not content to sit back and watch as rival Hasbro converts every one of their toys into movies, Mattel has decided to get into the major motion picture game, extending rights to Paramount to adapt their fortune-telling toy into a live-action adventure film. So will a movie based on the Magic 8 Ball be worth your time? Outlook Not So Good. (C'mon, you had to see that coming.)
8. 'Magic Kingdom'
Based On: The Disney World theme park
Having struck gold once (pun intended) with "Pirates of the Caribbean" and struck out twice with film abominations "The Country Bears" and "The Haunted Mansion," Disney seems to have decided that almost all of their attractions are worthy of movie adaptations. A "Haunted Mansion" reboot is in the works, as well as movies based on "Matterhorn," an alpine-themed roller coaster, and "The Tiki Room," a bird-themed attraction your mom probably made you sit through. Most interesting, however, is "Magic Kingdom" which is set to be directed by Jon Favreau of "Iron Man" fame, with some animation help from the talented folks at Pixar. We're looking forward to the inevitable "Epcot" movie, which will involve a family wandering around the park aimlessly, being super-bored.