If you weren’t already surprised that a major motion picture studio is optioning a toy that’s been around since 1946, perhaps you would like to know that a film treatment for the Magic 8 Ball has been in the works since 2006. New York magazine reports that Universal had interest in developing the project four years ago, with Tom Shadyac (Ace Ventura, Evan Almight) attached to direct.
Somewhere between then and now, Universal lost interest, perhaps it felt its resources could better serve some other toy franchise that needed to be translated to screen. Polly Pocket maybe?
Now, Paramount has taken hold of the project, with a tentative 2011 release date, according to IMDb. Tim Kilpin and Barry Waldo from Mattel are backing the film as executive producers, because clearly, this film needs the kind of creative support only toy company execs can provide. Jon Gunn and John Mann (Mercy Streets) will write the script. Apparently, they’re going for a National Treasure feel.