Is anybody really surprised?
After reports that the Universal film Ouija needed major work on its script, it looks the studio has decided to just drop the film entirely.
The movie had some major players behind it, as it was to be produced by Michael Bay and directed by McG. It was heading in the direction of a big budget film, but something went awry as it's now been scrapped.
But it might not be dead yet. Bay and McG are reportedly shopping the idea around to other studios, possibly even Paramount who did Bay's successful Transformers films. If Universal has a co-financier, it might be more willing to say yes to the project again.
And with Universal's deal with board game makers Hasbro and Milton Bradley, there's a $5 million penalty fee they will have to pay for dropping a project, as described in their 2008 contract.
As one talent agent says:
"This is how they beat you into submission and make you realize no one but no one wants to make this movie [at that price]. They just did it to Ron Howard with The Dark Tower: 'Don't let us stand in your way! Go find someone willing to write the check.'"
Who knows? Maybe we'll need an actual Ouija board to tell us how this will all turn out.