Universal Ditches Another Big Movie: Hasbro’s ‘Ouija’

The studio, which recently dropped plans for its expensive “Dark Tower,” also torpedoed Hasbro’s “Clue” last year

Universal has scrapped plans to make "Ouija," a movie based on Hasbro's fortune-telling game board.

McG was set to direct the movie. Michael Bay, among others, was to produce.

By dropping the project — part of a deal Universal made with Hasbro in 2008 — the studio will have to pay the toymaker a $5 million fee, an individual familiar with the project told TheWrap.

The studio cited budget concerns. An individual close to the studio said that the budget — described as "tentpole" — is right for the film, but the film isn't right for Universal.

It's the second major Hasbro movie Universal has backed out of. Last year it ditched plans for a screen remake of the popular board game "Clue," a spokesperson for Universal told TheWrap.

Universal still has Hasbro projects underway. Its "Battleship" is set to be released next May. But it's closely evaluating "Stretch Armstrong" and "Candyland."

"Ouija" is the second major film the studio has dropped this summer.Last month, it pulled out of "The Dark Tower," an ambitious — and expensive — fantasy series starring Javier Bardem, directed by Ron Howard and produced by Howard and Brian Grazer.

This all seems an indication of Universal's new corporate culture. Comcast took over the studio in January, ushering in a more frugal sensibility than the former owner, General Electric.

It quickly started cutting expensive movies. The first to fall was Guillermo del Toro's $150 million adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft's "Mountains of Madness" in March.

Other studios are similarly evaluating high-budget movies.

This month, Disney halted production on its giant "The Lone Ranger," starring Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer, produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and directed by Gore Verbinski. That move was widely seen as an effort by the studio to reduce costs on the film.

There's still a chance "Ouija" will become a movie at another studio.

An individual close to the project said that Paramount is considering it.

Vulture first reported the news.