Every time we think we have reached the absolute critical peak of every possible piece of intellectual property being adapted to film, we are proven wrong. In this specific case, it is the venerable clay-like chemical byproduct beloved by generations of children worldwide, Play-Doh. While it is a little difficult to imagine what storyline can possibly be made based around brightly colored, technically edible sculpting substances, we also had similar questions about Legos and they managed to get two Chris Pratt movies, a Batman movie, and a bunch of ninja-related children’s content, so we are going to take this on trust. It also helps that some top-level talent is being brought in to develop the upcoming Play-Doh movie, which we assume will end up grossing hundreds of millions of dollars.
The Play-Doh movie has been announced to be written by Emily V. Gordon, who previously co-write the Michael Showalter film The Big Sick with her husband, Eternals star Kumail Nanjiani. The married team was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for the film, which was based on their real-life experience of Gordon’s near-fatal illness. The movie was a surprise hit, becoming one of the highest-grossing independent films of 2017, and was rapturously received by critics. It currently maintains an incredible 98% approval rate on Rotten Tomatoes. The Play-Doh movie has also been announced to be produced by John M. Chu, who is also in talks to direct the film. Chu most recently directed the Lin-Manuel Miranda musical In The Heights, which was both lauded for its visuals and controversial for its casting, and scored a global hit with the romantic comedy Crazy Rich Asians. The latter film grossed $238 million off a $50 million budget, and received a slew of Golden Globe Awards nominations. So, pretty good credentials coming in for the Play-Doh movie.
This is just the most recent film adaptation by the Hasbro company, which owns dozens of trademarks of your beloved childhood toys and boardgames. While the high profile failure of would-be blockbusters like Battleship (which also took down emerging star Taylor Kitsch with it) has left many with the impression that seemingly-absured adaptions like Play-Doh are destined for notoriety, the company has actually had far more successes than bombs. Hasbro has been being the Transformers franchise, which is now approaching its seventh movie, the G.I. Joe franchise (which is due for a reboot any day now), the My Little Pony media empire, and the upcoming Dungeons & Dragons movie. While Hasbro might not have the cultural cred of Disney or Warner Bros, they are doing pretty well on their own terms.
The storyline behind the upcoming Play-Doh movie (whch we are just going to take a guess will be called The Play-Doh Movie) has not been revealed, but Emily V. Gordon and John M. Chu have said it will be a “moldable, pliable, iconically scented story about the importance of imagination,” which is pretty good synergy. We will keep you updated with which megastars are cast to play which colors of wacky clay.