Risk Board Game Gets Film Adaptation

How many of you remember long hours of military strategy and world domination while playing the Hasbro game Risk? If these memories fill you with pleasure instead of dread, then news that Sony Pictures is planning a film version Risk will have you dancing in the street.

Deadline reports that Sony Pictures has just hired scribe John Hlavin to pen Risk, a contemporary global action thriller. Hlavin has done some TV work on shows like The Shield and Trust Me, and his original screenplay for Warner Bros. called The Gunslinger made it onto the Black List. Hasbro Entertainment and Overbrook Entertainment are co-producing the pic.

A Stretch Armstrong project was in the works with Taylor Lautner attached, but it’s been pushed back. Battleship has already started filming, with Peter Berg directing and Starring Liam Neeson and Taylor Kitsch. It’s set for a May of 2012 release, followed by Ouija, an action/adventure movie penned by Tron: Legacy writers Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis.

If you’re a fan of board games in general, then Hollywood’s board game exploitation shtick will have you giddy. Hasbro recently teamed up with Universal pictures with the goal of producing at least four motion pictures in the next year based on Monopoly, Candy Land, Clue, Ouija, Battleship, Magic: The Gathering, and Stretch Armstrong. I predict a general Hollywood jumping-on-the-bandwagon scenario here. There are a lot of board games out there to potentially get silver screen adaptations, not to mention the elements of nostalgia attached. No doubt Mattel will be next, teaming with a big studio to create film adaptations of the dynamic card game Uno, or the Barbie story.

I guess the real question is, can a movie based on a board game be any good? Sounds gimmicky to me, as any feature-length film with a developed story only “inspired” by aspects of the original board game could be one of dozens of movies already made. Pick any war movie for Risk, there’s a bunch of fantasy adventures that might be inspired by Candy Land (hello Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) and Magic: The Gathering. Wall Street could be a Monopoly interpretation. There’s already a great 80s horror Ouija-board flick called Witchboard, and hasn’t Clue already been made into a movie starring the charismatic Tim Curry? While I do find it a novel (if not great) idea, it seems to me like it’s already been done.

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