Whac-A-Mole TV Show in the Works

Hollywood has turned to the world of board games for decades in hopes of finding inspiration for new experiences to offer, with the latest project to be announced being a TV show based on the Mattel board game Whac-A-Mole. The popular game is largely known in arcades, as it features a mallet and animatronic moles that randomly pop out of their holes, requiring the player to hit them to score points. The game dates back to the '70s and was turned into a board game back in 2009. Rather than being a narrative TV series, the upcoming project will be a game show.

Deadline details the project, "The Whac-A-Mole game show will turn the game into an elimination competition during which opposing teams will use their skill, strength, and endurance to face off to become the ultimate Whac-A-Mole champion. The unscripted series will incorporate life-sized Whac-a-Mole, races, and obstacle courses, along with a twist."

"Whac-A-Mole is a beloved, action-packed arcade game with a deep fan following, and the interactive nature and comedic energy of the game makes it a great franchise for episodic television," Adam Bonnett, Executive Producer, Mattel Television, shared in a statement. "Jayson and the team at Fremantle have had unparalleled success creating iconic reality television series and are the perfect partners to help us bring this classic game to life in new ways."

This is only the latest TV game show to be announced by Mattel, as they confirmed last year they were developing The Uno Game Show.

"We're so excited to have the iconic Whac-A-Mole brand as our newest playground," Jayson Dinsmore, President of Alternative Programming and Development at Fremantle added. "Partnering with Mattel to bring this classic game to television in a dynamic and synergistic life-sized world is a dream come true."

Board games going on to inspire feature films might seem like a more recent trend, due to projects like Battleship or the OUIJA films, though they date back much further. The 1985 murder-mystery film Clue marked an effective embrace of the components of the board game, which even included multiple endings to replicate the idea of different conclusions from the same structure. Ryan Reynolds is currently developing a new take on Clue.

While it was technically based on a book about a board game, 1995's Jumanji serves as an unofficial board game adaptation, which would then go on to see the release of an actual Jumanji board game, keeping interest in the concept alive and launching two Jumanji films starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.

Stay tuned for details on the Whac-A-Mole game show.


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