Among the greatest games of all time, LucasArts' Secret of Monkey Island almost gave birth to a blockbuster movie. Polygon's Jack Yarwood takes a deep dive into the shark-infested Hollywood sea:
"[We] flew down to Amblin with Patty Blau and we met with Steven," says Carson. "The first thing he said to me was, 'I told George years ago that he should make Monkey Island into a film,' so I knew I had a pretty easy pitch ahead of me. After [that], Steven suggested that Patty meet with two of the Amblin producers to see if we could work something out."
"The meeting ended the way you want those meetings to end," Rosen says. "It was like shaking hands, like, Let's make the movie. I remember very clearly Dave Carson, as we were getting back in the car, goes, 'You can trace the decline of your entire career from this moment. It's never going to get better than Steven Spielberg shaking your hand.'"
Alas, no. "Hollywood kills you with Yes", as I've heard it put. "The Yes of death". "Yes, this is ours now". As the story was "developed", Guybrush turned into a chum salesman with a monkey sidekick.
Then he … was the monkey.
"The funny thing about Hollywood meetings and creative projects when you come up with ideas is, you're like, 'Oh, I have this great idea,' and then the committee assembles. All of a sudden, this story that everyone was shaking hands on becomes, 'What if we change the main character to a monkey?'"
And there it died. Steven Spielberg not wanting to do Monkey Island unless the hero be a monkey is surely the final antitode for anyone cultivating dreams that their favorite thing be made into a movie.