'Battleship': Let's brainstorm a plan to keep the big-budget adaptation from sinking

skarsgaurd_rihannaImage Credit: Albert L. Ortega/PR Photos; Michael Tran/FilmMagic.com; Justin Stephens/NBCPeter Berg’s big-screen Battleship is the subject of an interesting piece in The Hollywood Reporter, which details all the ways this movie, with a reported budget of $200 million or more, is a gamble. There’s the fact that it’s based on a board game, and audiences are already weary of reboots, let alone that kind. Peter Berg isn’t a big-name action director like J.J. Abrams, and he doesn’t have an A-list cast. (Oddly, the story doesn’t even bother to mention True Blood‘s Alexander Skarsgard alongside Friday Night Lights‘ Taylor Kitsch and Rihanna, who’ll make her feature acting debut). And the plot involves an alien invasion on water, and well, water is not a filmmaker’s friend. (Waterworld sank, but even box office hits like Titanic and Jaws had notorious shooting issues.) So what is Universal to do?

Studio chairman Adam Fogelson tells THR that he’s confident in his passionate director, the hot cast, the audience (“Worldwide, more people have played Battleship than played with Transformers”), and the way the script adapts the game. “There’s the fact that you can’t see your opponent, the underlying emotional reasons behind who plays the game and how they play the game,” he says. “There’s absolutely a way within the story that’s been constructed here to take advantage of the game’s name and elements that will make the movie fun.” As for the water curse, the shoot, which begins in Hawaii later this month, is only scheduled to have five days on the ocean, with any additional sea action to be shot on soundstages and with CGI.

The success of this film obviously comes down to getting people in the seats. So let’s help Universal out, and offer suggestions on how they can turn this into a Pirates of the Caribbean-style success (remember that was a film based on a ride, set on water). Mine:

• Hire Jeff Goldbum. The international naval fleet fighting the aliens has got to have some kind of scientist helping them, and it should be Goldblum. (Too bad this film can’t totally Independence Day out and move its May 2012 release date to July 3. Darn, Spider-Man 4.)

• Keep Kitsch and Skarsgard in uniform. No surprise attacks while they’re in Hawaiian shirts à la Pearl Harbor.

• No more stunt casting. Rihanna is enough. I get it. She’ll bring in the boys. I’m envisioning her stuck in a submarine room that springs a leak. Either her shirt gets wet to reveal her bra, or she removes her shirt because it’s weighing her down. (Though perhaps Berg is above that.)

Your turn.

Comments (33 total) Add your comment
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  • D’s Advocate

    I’d argue that J. J. Abrams wasn’t exactly a “big-name action director” until Star Trek last year. He’s really been more noted as a producer or writer.

  • two cents

    Umm, perhaps we could NOT keep them in their uniforms. At least throw a couple of shirtless scenes our way. Granted Alexander and Taylor will be hot in uniform, but come on… they can’t pass up a chance to get two of the hottest actors in Hollywood at least a little nekkid… ; )

    • jewellgirl13

      I’m totally with you on this one…Skarsgard is ridiculously sexy! If I’m given the chance to see him in 8 ft. tall shirtless glory rather than the 1.5 feet that I’m used to while watching True Blood on my tv, I’m sold!!

  • JLC

    Didn’t Berg direct Very Bad Things, in which a nude prostitute (played by a pornstar) is impaled on a clothes hook? I don’t think Berg’s above a little wet t-shirt action.

  • just me

    Well, I can only speak for myself but Skarsgard is in it. I’m sold! I will see it just for the eye candy (I love Tayor too). Apart from Megan Fox, Transformers didn’t even have that and it was God-awful, but it was a hit, than they went and made a 2nd even more God-awful than the 1st. So who the hell knows??

  • Carrie #2

    Taylor Kitsch provides enough eye-candy to convince me to see this movie! Added bonus is the FNL reunion of Kitsch and Peter Berg. I’m in!

  • Ceballos

    I’m a big fan of Kitsch and Skarsgard, but if Berg throws Kyle Chandler a bone as some sort of commanding officer, he’ll ABSOLUTELY have my $$$

  • rch

    They lost me when they added Rihanna. And that was before I realized it was about aliens. I thought they were going for ‘Hunt for Red October.’ I don’t want to see another ‘Abyss.’

  • Chaddogg

    Kyle Chandler. Connie Britton. Gaius Charles. Zach Gilford. Aimee Teegarden. Adrianne Palicki. Scott Porter.

    Find roles for them in this movie, Mr. Berg, and I’ll be in the audience with clear eyes and a full heart on opening day.

  • Jen

    I just can’t wait for the scene in the trailer in which Skarsgard is angrily looking through a telescope and hisses in full Eric Northman-mode, “You sunk my battleship.”

  • Dru

    Please don’t let Rihanna sing. Please don’t let Rihanna sing. Please don’t let Rihanna sing. Please don’t let Rihanna sing. Please don’t let Rihanna sing. Please don’t let Rihanna sing. Please don’t let Rihanna sing. Please don’t let Rihanna sing…

    • Jelana

      hahaha!

    • Johnification

      You’re probably going to want to get out of the theatre very fast after the movie, because there’s no way she WON’T have a new single playing over the credits (ugh).

  • Madd

    Honestly? Just have ASkars shirtless during the entire flick. That’s all I need.

    • Madd

      Oh and yes, Jeff Goldblum should totally be in it. Remember his version of Battleship with Stephen Colbert?

      • Machunny

        @ Madd–
        While I’m usually singing from your hymnal, I’d vote to keep Goldblum out. I’m all in for two hours of the shirtless Viking.

  • Justin

    Have one of the guys challenge the aliens to a game of Connect 4 with the fate of the Earth in the balance…

  • val

    Cut the wardrobe budget. To the point where they can’t afford pants for ASkars. (I’m picturing his scene with Yvetta…on IMAX…in 3D)

  • pbt

    Honestly, I am already sold a ticket because of ASkars being in the film.

    I would highly suggest some nude or half nude shots with both Alex and Taylor. Give us gals something to watch while the guys watch everything being blown part.

    I will admit several of his fans have waiting to Alex in a Naval uniform. Loved watching Generation Kill in which Alex starred.

    One of the reasons that film was successful was because of the great acting and watching all those beautiful bodies.

    Not a fan of war flicks but HBO changed my mind with their casting selections.

  • Al

    Do Bioshock instead!

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