To quote myself from a previous article, press releases are the most ghoulishly spurious form of modern communication. If there's one sliver of good to be taken from this downright vomitus medium, it's that they feature quotes from corporate executives so strained with fake enthusiasm over the dumb-dumb garbage they're promoting that you can almost hear the veins in their foreheads popping. The press release for the recently announced film adaptation of the Magic 8-Ball is no different.
Let's begin with a quote from Robbie Brenner of Mattel Films:
"Since the 1950s, Magic 8 Ball has inspired imagination, suspense and intrigue across generations."
That's a really lofty way to describe someone ruefully tossing aside a 20-sided die floating in black ink after they asked if they were ever going to find love and it replied "Ask Again Later."
"This iconic toy has a built-in connection with fans and untapped potential for storytelling."
He said the quiet part loud, then put it in the press release: The only reason they're making this is that you already know what a Magic 8-Ball is. They saw an opportunity to make a movie where they didn't have to waste 30 seconds of screen time explaining the central concept, and by Jove, they seized it.
Adobe Stock/Nikolai Sorokin
And now, Jason Blum from Blumhouse Productions:
"As fans of Mattel and their iconic brands, we're looking forward to bringing Magic 8 Ball, one of their most celebrated toys, to life, and playing against expectations in doing so,"
It's easy to play against expectations when everyone is expecting something that feels like a mid-2010s Eddie Murphy movie with an IMDb summary like A cryptocurrency investor who loses faith in his own judgment finds renewed hope in a magical 8-Ball that reunites him with his estranged daughter.
"We look forward to partnering with Mattel Films to put this project on the fast track to the big screen and create a memorable experience for moviegoers."
Yes, they're fast-tracking this one to capitalize on the fevered popularity of a toy released in 1950. Expect a fidget spinner movie in 2088!
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