Critics Dumbfounded at 'Magic 8-Ball Movie' News

It's come to this

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Video games don't have plots in the traditional sense, but we have movies based on Silent Hill and Resident Evil. Commercials don't have plots--at least not very lengthy ones--but we're still getting a movie about the E*Trade babies. And toys don't have plots, but we've got film adaptations of G.I. Joe and Transformers. And soon, the Magic 8-Ball.

Yes, a Magic 8-Ball movie is forthcoming from Paramount Pictures. Not much is known about the project, except that screenwriters Jon Gunn and John Mann (best known for the little-seen 2000 film Mercy Streets) will be in charge of the script, and a couple of Mattel executives will have producer credits. The news has left entertainment bloggers gobsmacked, and--fittingly--they're making predictions on how the project will unfold.

  • 'Probably Not as Inventive as the Version You Dreamed Up in Third Grade,' guesses The Awl's Maura Johnston. Her brief post is accompanied by a photo of a Magic 8-Ball displaying the prediction "OUTLOOK NOT SO GOOD." Hover your cursor over this photo, and you'll get the alt-text stinger: "jokes that illustrate themselves dept."

  • What Will They Adapt Next?  The A.V. Club's Sean O'Neal pronounces us one day closer to "Ball And Cup: The String’s Revolt." (On that same note, the comments under O'Neal's post include an epic series of riffs that are well worth picking through. Our favorite pair of responses comes right at the top: "It can't be any worse than the disappointing JENGA: THE MOVIE." "Yeah, that one just kind of fell apart at the end.")
  • Of COURSE the Executive Producers Work for Mattel!  "Because it takes two toy executives to really explain the inner motivations of a psychic piece of plastic," smirks Claude Brodesser-Akner at New York Magazine. Brodesser-Akner offers an elevator pitch that actually sounds kind of intriguing: "The Paramount plan, we hear, is to turn Magic 8 Ball into a sort of live-action National Treasure–style action-adventure movie. Can't you just see Nicolas Cage vigorously shaking the ball for his next clue? It almost writes itself!"
  • 'Magic 8-Ball: Kill Yourself, Definitely'  Videogum's Gabe Delahaye goes one better and tries his hand at a spec script. It's best experienced in its full form, but we can tell you that it involves a submarine, an 8-Ball advocating suicide, and a weary, stubbled agent named "Body Canks." Also, by the time the credits roll, "everyone is in heaven just like God said it would be."
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