Board games have not had the best record with film adaptations, but that hasn’t stopped Hollywood from trying. Sony Pictures is currently in negotiations to acquire the usage rights to turn Settlers of Catan into a movie.
Gail Katz, who acquired the rights in 2015, will act as producer. Her previous credits include Pawn Sacrifice, The Perfect Storm, and Air Force One. Dan Lin, from It and The Lego Movie, and Jonathan Eirich will join as additional producers. Blaise Hemingway, whose credits include the untitled Playmobil movie, will pen the screenplay.
“We’re excited to be working with Sony to bring the iconic world of Catan to life,” Katz said in a statement to Variety. “As huge fans of the game, we’re struck by the endless possibilities of stories that it could inspire. It’s not every day that you have the opportunity to work in a world beloved by millions of people, and expand its story for the screen.”
Settlers of Catan was created in 1995 as a strategy board game. On the fictional island of Catan, players compete to become the dominant community. Surviving requires clever use of the land’s resources and outsmarting neighboring communities. The game quickly grew, with more than 22 million versions sold worldwide and translated into 38 different languages. The Washington Post even went as far to call it “the board game of our time.”
In a best-case scenario, this board game adaptation will end up along the lines of Clue. While originally doing poorly at the box office, Clue has garnered a cult following. Not only did it pay homage to the source material by including numerous references and three possible endings, it also stands as a solid mystery comedy.
On the other end of the spectrum is Battleship. While there was little source material to base it off of, an alien invasion was a bit of a stretch. Despite the visual appearance of a Michael Bay movie and the acting chops of Liam Neeson, neither could rescue this movie from its critics.
Sony Pictures is fast-tracking the project toward production in the effort to launch Settlers of Catan as a possible franchise.