You may or may not have noticed that I spend a solid chunk of these posts complaining about brand names of seemingly unadaptable cultural artifacts being optioned for movie rights. Among the most ridiculous in the past few weeks are the computer game guidebook What To Expect When You’re Expecting. But the announcement that the Rubik’s Cube Company has signed on with super-agency CAA to shop Rubik’s Cube: The Movie really wins first prize for cajones.
What I don’t get is why someone would need permission to make a movie that prominently features a Rubik’s Cube, unless, of course, the Rubik’s cube will actually be the film’s main character, or the whole thing will center around an “official” speed-cube contest (which could be awesome?). The makers of King of Kong, for example, didn’t have to pay the rights to Donkey Kong from Nintendo, did they? Unlike Monopoly, which actually has characters, or Myst which has novels based on it, the Rubik’s Cube is just a small square with different colors on it. But CAA knows this, and they also know that what’s valuable isn’t the cultural currency that comes along with an official Rubik’s Cube brand sanction, but the actual monetary currency that the toy company could use to develop and promote this project.
So what comes next after this one? More movies based on household objects (because that’s essentially what a Rubik’s Cube is…) What about Magic 8-Ball: The Movie? Samsung DVD Player: The Movie? Red Wing Boots: The Movie? The future is going to be great.