We learned early this summer that Universal is planning a Battleship board game movie, then a couple of months ago Peter Berg (Hancock) was tapped to direct, and a release date was set for July 1st, 2011 (apparently it's been changed to August 5th, 2011). Berg has described the Battleship movie as, "an epic naval action adventure," that is, "a contemporary story of an international five-ship fleet engaged in a very dynamic, violent and intense battle.”
That was enough to go on at the time, but what Berg DIDN'T mention was who the enemy was going to be...that is, until now. On Friday, Latino Review got a scoop that confirmed (their words, not ours) from a source that the foes the "hero" battleships were presumably going to be battling against are... wait for it... aliens! That's right, extraterrestrials presumably attacking earth for our wonderful resources (what's left of them, that is...).
Echoing Latino Review's reaction - REALLY? Aliens? That's what they've come up with as the antagonist for the Battleship movie? Not only is it quite unoriginal when you consider the amount of alien invasion stories that have graced our screens, but in my eyes it's a flat-out bad idea. Having said that, my judgement may be clouded as Battleship is just one in a long line of board games that I just don't see working on the big-screen.
As has been one of my biggest points of discussion with all these board game movies in the pipeline: why call this movie Battleship? The logical answer is to capitalize on the name recognition - however, the plot they're going with - an alien enemy - has nothing to do with the original game (to quote fellow Screen Rant writer, Rob Keyes - "Is there an edition of electronic Battleship that I missed?" :P ). To be fair, ANY plot will have that problem as the game didn't HAVE a plot or story - it was just two people at either side of a vertical board putting pegs into it as they guess their opponent's ship positions. I don't see why they can't just make a new movie about alien-battling ships without falling back on a Hasbro board game... Urgh, I just don't see the incentive in making this thing.
To plays devil advocate on my own devil's advocacy, I have to admit I'm sort of curious to see how Battleship turns out, particularly with Berg at the helm. He's hasn't got a perfect track record (as much as Hancock was fun in parts, its huge potential wasn't made the most of IMHO), but he's shown he's got the talent to make something interesting out of an initially bad/boring/cliched (whatever...) idea, notably in the completely messed up Very Bad Things. I haven't got much hope for Battleship (Whiteout screenwriters, Erich and Jon Hoeber writing it doesn't exactly inspire confidence) but I'm fully willing to be proven wrong.
What do you think of the enemy in the Battleship adaptation being aliens? Do you think adapting this particular board game into a movie is a good idea? Or is it just another in a long line of those that should just be left in the box?
The last we heard, Battleship is set to start filming in Spring 2010, and has a release date of August 5th, 2011.
Source: Latino Review (thanks to /Film)