'Ouija' Back on Saddle at Universal, Eyeing 2013 Release
After nearly being shut down, "Ouija" is now back on its saddle after Universal Pictures decided to bring the supernatural movie project back in development. On Monday, March 5, the studio announced that the gig is in the works again and is eyeing a 2013 release in the U.S.
The project was originally designed as a potential tentpole and mega-budget movie which could cost $100 million to produce. However, it is now reported that Universal has reduced the budget to a mere $5 million. Michael Bay, Andrew Form and Brad Fuller are still on board to produce the film along with "Paranormal Activity" producer Jason Blum, who is known as a shoestring-budget film specialist.
Though the exact plot for "Ouija" is still kept secret, the film is confirmed to be an adaptation of the Hasbro board game about conjuring up spirits of the dead. "This Means War" director, McG, was previously circling the gig but he's no longer involved. The scale-down project is now still looking for a new filmmaker to serve behind the lens.
Before bringing "Ouija" back on the track, Universal dumped the project last August 2011 due to budgetary issue. Since then, various negotiations with some major studios were held but no deal has ever been sealed.
The new agreement has raised hopes for a rekindling partnership between Universal and Hasbro after the studio recently dropped some Hasbro films, including "Stretch Armstrong", "Candy Land" and "Clue". Its only latest partnership with the toy giant is on "Battleship", which will open in the U.S. on May 18.
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