Peter Berg is currently in talks with Universal Studios to helm a big screen adaptation of the naval warfare game “Battleship”. Sibling screenwriters Jon and Erich Hoeber have already been hired to script the project, which Universal is hoping to be some sort of rousing naval adventure.
If you’re scratching your head over why a Hollywood studio would want to develop a movie based on a game like Battleship, you’re not alone. On paper, toy lines and some board games look like good properties to adapt to the big screen. They have a certain name recognition/nostalgia factor with potential ticket buyers. They usually have a built in story line such as the warring robots of the Transformers toys or the murder mystery of the game Clue.
But Battleship does not really have a story that goes along with game play. Basically, its two ships firing cannons at each other. Not much of a plot there. Anything story that gets invented and grafted on this project could probably work just as well without it being a “Battleship movie.” It’s not like Hasbro/Milton Bradley has trademarked the entire concept of naval warfare. Do the producers really think that the name of the game will be a stronger box office draw than just a well done movie?
If so, what won’t they try to bring to the big screen? Coming soon- Jacks: The Movie? Sadly, that may just be the case, as this Hollywood Reporter article mentions that the board games Candyland, Monopoly and Ouija are also being developed as possible films.