Remember the good old days when Hollywood just remade everything, adapted video games or extended a series beyond it’s rightful lifetime with unnecessary sequels? Oh yes, that was a simpler time…
It appears that wasn’t enough for them and they’ve gone a step further than just those three types of usually bad paths by making movies out of board games. No, that’s not some industry specific term for a new type of sequel or remake. That’s right, I’m referring to those family-friendly pastimes which usually have dice and plastic pieces you move around on a flat board when you’ve got nothing else to do…
There are already plans put in motion for movies based on the board games Monopoly (with Ridley Scott set to helm it… no joke), Candyland, Magic: The Gathering and even one based on the Ouija board (is that a board game, exactly? The director, Michael Bay, must think so…). And also on that list is one based on Battleship, and apparently they already have a director in talks to helm it.
That director is Peter Berg, who from the picture above you may recognize from the likes of Collateral, Smokin’ Aces, and a couple of episodes of Alias. But acting seems like a minor career when you look at his directing resume: He’s directed The Kingdom, Very Bad Things, Friday Night Lights, The Rundown and Hancock. Berg is in talks to direct the movie for Universal, with brother screenwriting team Jon and Eric Hoeber set to script it.
Not much is known about what form the Battleship movie will take, however we know it will only loosely based on the game and is said to be, “an epic naval action adventure.” The name recognition it would bring is the only possible reason I can see for calling it Battleship.
On a related note, rumor is that Twilight heartthrob Robert Pattinson may be starring in the movie. There’s nothing concrete, but Pattinson was spotted leaving Berg’s house last week, and since this is the latest directing news related to him, speculation has arisen that Pattinson may be being considered to star. However, it should be noted that Berg has a lot of stuff on the horizon (including a remake of Dune) so there’s nothing definite to say that the meeting was about the Battleship movie.
I will never understand the sudden hoard of board game movies that are in the pipeline, beyond the simple money-making reasons, that is. If you are to emphasize the business part of the “movie business” phrase, then you may see that that’s a reason on its own to do it. But most of them just don’t even make sense on a basic level of, “How will it even function as a movie?”
Take Monopoly, for example – are we going to follow one of the pieces you move around the board as they buy places and charge rent? Will it follow the little Monopoly hat character that we see on the box (what’s he called – Pennybags, or something…)? They’re really going to have to stretch to come up with a movie that will resemble watchable with that one – that, or it’ll be the game in name only and be about competing real estate magnates.
The same goes for Battleship – correct me if I’m wrong, but the playing of the game is two people, on on either side of the vertical board, and they have to guess where the other persons ships are located on the opposite side of the board. That’s it… where’s the movie in that? Where’s the motivation to make a movie from that?
If it’s only going to be loosely based on the game, my question then is why even call it Battleship? Why not just make, “an epic naval action adventure,” without it having anything to do with that board game? Like I said, beyond money reasons (which goes hand-in-hand with the name reocognition it would bring) I don’t see the incentive for this or most of the other board game movies that are in the works.
So do you think a movie based on the Battleship board game could work? Or is it just another silly idea like the rest of the board game movies?