The days of wine and absurd franchise ideas appears to be drawing to a close at Universal, whose summer-long moment of clarity after realizing they dropped over $200 million on this has culminated in the studio dropping its plans to turn the slumber party staple Ouija into a movie. Initially developed during those bold, invincible days when it felt like they could film everything in the Hasbro toy chest, Ouija was soon handed to producer Michael Bay and McG, who quickly began outlining an expensive, family action-adventure in the vein of Jumanji—which is essentially the pitch behind all of its board-game adaptations, even if they don’t want to come out and say it.
Now Vulture reports that, as with the recently scrapped Clue, the studio has opted to pay the $5 million penalty to bow out, leaving Bay and McG free to shop it elsewhere. Reportedly, Paramount has already passed, despite Bay’s entreaties that they’ve made a lot of giant robot money together, baby, shhh, let Daddy make some more toy love, you know you want it. So unless another studio agrees to step up and foot the bill, it’s likely that Ouija will simply die, becoming a lingering spirit that only pops occasionally to spell out, letter by agonizing letter, a haunting reminder that not everything with a recognizable name needs to be a movie.