On July 1, 2011, the board game Battleship will come to life on the big screen. Universal has confirmed that Peter Berg will direct the live-action film based on the popular board game. It will be part of a two feature pack that Berg will deliver for Universal, with the second feature being the Afghan war drama Lone Survivor.
The date also confirms that Battleship will be the second film that Universal will release in its new partnership with Hasbro to bring board games to the big screen. Stretch Armstrong is slated to be released in April 2011, directed by Steve Oedekerk. Universal is trying to get towards branded entertainment, and Hasbro is becoming a very important part of their plans.
In my opinion, Battleship has a lot of potential to be a great film. On the other hand, there are so many ways that this could not be done right. Let’s just hope that Berg’s plan of “a contemporary story of an international five-ship fleet engaged in a very dynamic, violent and intense battle” works. It’s going to be rather difficult to put a backstory in a game that just has people guessing where ships are so they can sink them, but Berg does seem to be on the right track.
He seems to be very excited about the film, which is definitely a positive:
“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,” Berg said. “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.”
I’m excited for this. Let’s hope that Berg doesn’t sink the ship.