Back in May we reported that Hancock helmer, Peter Berg, was in talks to direct the live-action adaptation of the popular Hasbro board game, Battleship. Fast-forward four months and Berg has been confirmed to direct the movie, and a release date has been set - July 1st, 2011.
[But where does that leave Hancock 2, which Berg is also attached to direct? See bottom of the post.]
Variety is reporting that Berg directing Battleship is part of a two-picture deal with Universal, the second film being an Afghan war drama called Lone Survivor. As we previously reported, Whiteout writers Erich and Jon Hoeber have penned the script for the movie. Stuber Pictures (Scott Stuber), Hasbro's Brian Goldner and Bennett Schneir, Berg himself and his Film 44 partner, Sarah Aubrey, will all produce the pic.
Berg has given his thoughts on why he wants to direct a Battleship movie, stating that his passion comes from his naval historian father:
"I've been consumed with doing one of these since I tried to convince Tom Rothman at Fox to make a film about John Paul Jones, the founder of the American Navy... As a kid, I was dragged from Navy museum to museum, and spent so much time on ships, listening to my father talk about the great battles of WWII, I did my high school thesis on the Battle of Midway. When this came up, it didn't take me long to find a take for a film that is filled with raucous action-packed naval battles."
With regards to the plot of Battleship (Plot? What plot?...), it was previously described as, "an epic naval action adventure," which understandably (at that early stage) was very vague. Berg has now described the film as being, "a contemporary story of an international five-ship fleet engaged in a very dynamic, violent and intense battle."
Battleship may only be the second board game/toy based movie to get an official release date set (after the Steve Oedekerk scripted Stretch Armstrong - set for an April 11, 2011 release), but there are plenty more in the works: Monopoly (with Ridley Scott attached to direct); Candyland (with Kevin Lima set to direct); Clue (with Gore Verbinski attached); and even one based on the Ouiji Board (with Michael Bay's Platinum Dunes attached).
It's getting frickin' insane...
I fail to see why they're making a movie of Battleship. The idea of the board game - i.e. two people sitting at either end of a vertical board, guessing each other's moves on the opposite side - just isn't translatable into a workable movie if you're going to go the literal route. And if they're making up a story from scratch (which it looks like they are), then why base it on the Battleship board game at all? Sure, there's the name recognition (best bait for your buck in the business!) but that would really be it.
As with pretty much all of the board game/toy movies in the works, even though my expectations are really low, I must admit I'm still curious to see how Battleship will turn out.
What about you: Do you think Battleship or any of the toy and board game movies in the works will turn out to be any good? Is Berg the right guy to direct this flick?
Production on Battleship is set for a Spring 2010 start, and (as stated) is scheduled to be released on July 1st, 2011.
Hancock 2: With Battleship being set up as Berg's next project (and presumably Lone Survivor coming after that), it could mean that Hancock 2 is at least a few years away. That would be kind of miffing, considering all the recent buzz about the superhero sequel, including Berg confirming that both Will Smith and Charlize Theron will return as well as two writers being brought on-board to get the script started.
If Berg is doing other projects, and the studio wants Hancock 2 in theaters ASAP, could we potentially see a change of director?