Big Bad Battleship Movie Updates Straight from Peter Berg
Universal is really moving at very high speed on this Battleship movie. Maybe because it's one of the few projects in-development that they think they can make money on? First things first, yep, the bad guys are still aliens. Nearly a month ago, it was reported that the bad guys in this Battleship movie would be aliens. And apparently these aliens will be sailing in black ships that look like giant water bugs with hydrofoil legs that race across the surface, kind of like water spiders you find on lakes. Latino Review got a huge update from director Peter Berg himself on what to expect and it sounds like it'll be pretty epic. Read on for more.
Universal took a small group of journalists (not including us) to visit an actual Navy battleship stationed in San Diego. Berg gave them a tour and it sounds like he's been working closely with the Navy on this movie already. ILM will be providing the visual effects (which is always good news, considering they're the best CGI company out there). The story, since up to this point has been very vague, will involve a fleet of five ships that comes across these aliens, called The Regents, that are out in the water building something that will be a "power source." Our hero is the Commanding Officer of a destroyer and he has a team of five guys.
Berg explains that these aliens have "a similar biological make-up to us" and that our "planet is of interest to [them] ecologically." We explained a bit of the story before, but Berg compares it to The Bridge on the River Kwai, explaining that "they're trying to build something because they're in trouble" and that "they're trying to get something completed, and they're not particularly concerned with any life that [gets in their way]. They don't have anything against you, but if you interfere with their agenda, they'll kill you." But guess what - their ships don't have any superior technology. In fact, they're quite similar to our own. Of course they are.
"Some of [the alien ships] are very violent. Some of them aren't, but some of them are the equivalent of our destroyers. They fire ballistics, explosive ballistics." So, just like the board game that this frickin' movie is based on, each group will have five different ships, and it will be a battle of whits. Speaking of which, during their tour of the battleship, they were shown what is called the Combat Information Center (or CIC for short). This room (seen the photo at the bottom) is one of the key set pieces in the film which Berg will use to re-imagine the board game playing field as a computer screen visually (if that makes sense). He explains:
"This is a key set in the film. You put this screen on, it's very easy to imagine this as a much more sophisticated Battleship screen from the board game. What they're doing with this screen is identifying threats or identifying objects whether it be in the air, on the sea or underwater. Much the same way you would try to identify or locate your enemy in the game."
Is anyone reading any of this and actually thinking that it sounds cool? Or am I the only one that is getting worried about how cheesy this all sounds? I think they're really stretching the Battleship concept way too far. Speaking of other quirks from the board game, Berg confirmed the "ships don't constantly show up on our radar; we can't find them. The ways we go about fighting them is a recurring theme throughout the film." And "some take more shots to sink and kill than do others. Just like our ships. But they're killable." Oh and someone will say "You sank my battleship!" in the movie at some point. Damn you, Peter Berg!
You can read the full report over on Latino Review or CHUD, as there's a lot more info that we haven't even mentioned yet. Last, but not least, I want to point out why I used that photo of the Battleship at the top of this post. That ship is the USS Missouri and the force of the guns is so powerful that it actually pushed them sideways. That same photo was apparently used on a mock-up poster for the Battleship movie with the tagline: "Fight the Ship" which is Navy lingo for "manning the ship in battle" and that will probably be the tagline for the movie. Shooting starts next spring on this. Sound like a movie you'll be interested in?