Looking over at Universal’s growing stack of board games and seething with jealousy as it hogs all the toys, Sony has clutched its plump little fists and hied itself to the Hollywood rumpus room to see what other moldering boxes it can haul out of the back of the closet. That’s where it came across Risk, the “Game Of Global Domination”—which is a big-boy game, not like those little games for babies that Universal has—and began setting up the pieces for its own film version of a narrative-free property that could just as easily be called something original and no one would ever notice.
Of course, while crafting a “contemporary global action thriller” out of a turn-based strategic game that involves dice-rolling and plastic-soldier-placing seems so open-ended it borders on ridiculous, Risk actually has its roots in the film world: It was created by French director Albert Lamorisse (The Red Balloon) who came up with the idea and pointedly did not make a movie out of it, even though he was famous for making films about inanimate objects. But obviously he was shortsighted, and now Sony has hired screenwriter John Hlavin to right Lamorisse’s wrongs. Hlavin’s credits include a few episodes of The Shield and the upcoming Underworld: New Dawn, neither of which particularly hint at what direction his version of Risk could take. Not that a more accomplished résumé would provide much indication of how one creates a movie out of Risk anyway, unless each battle scene is actually decided by rolls of giant dice, and then all the armies yell at the one army that’s just sitting there on Australia and not doing anything like a pussy.