Exclusive: View-Master Movie Cancelled, Plot Revealed

Hollywood mega writer/producers Bob Orci and Alex Kurtzman have a hand in many things: The Star Trek reboot franchise, this summer’s hit Now You See Me, Ender’s Game, the Amazing Spider-Man sequels and TV’s “Sleepy Hollow.” And at one time, they were producing a View-Master movie, which of course everyone made fun of for trying to turn an inanimate toy into a movie. The View-Master was a 3-D slide viewer by Mattel.  You could insert a round reel, look through binoculars and rotate the series of 3-D pictures.

I was actually curious how they would solve that one, because no matter how cynical you may be, you don’t announce a View-Master movie unless you think you can pull it off. While speaking to Orci and Kurtzman for “Sleepy Hollow,” I asked whatever happened to the View-Master movie. They said it fell apart after one screenplay draft, but were willing to share the concept that could have made View-Master a narrative movie.

“We had kind of a fun take,” Orci said. “The idea was that it could transport you to wherever you could see.  A writer that we worked with on ‘Fringe’ actually ended up doing a draft, but other things just came together instead.”

Now it would be easy to blame Battleship for the collapse of any toy movie. Last year’s blockbuster version of the board game underperformed, domestically at least. Orci said View-Master collapsed before Battleship even came out, so was not impacted by the latter’s performance. “It just didn’t come together,” Orci said.

Kurtzman took a zen perspective to the whole development deal. “Some stories are meant to be told and others aren’t,” Kurtzman, who also directed the feature People Like Us, said. “We didn’t get there.”

Orci jokes about the project now. “We jumped from that to Pogo Stick: The Movie,” Orci laughed.

Hey, Platinum Dunes is still developing a Ouija Board movie, but if a teleporting View-Master movie can’t work, then I just don’t know what to believe anymore. 

Fred Topel is a staff writer at CraveOnline and the man behind Shelf Space Weekly. Follow him on Twitter at @FredTopel.