While most genre movie fans have at least been faintly aware of Universal’s upcoming Battleship movie and how it seems to have very little to do with the actual Hasbro boardgame, judging by reactions I saw among family and friends last night on Facebook after the one minute commercial for the film aired not many in the general public were in on that fact. “What the hell? and “I don’t remember aliens in Battleship” were the common responses I’ve seen.
Now the common logic in adapting anything to the big screen is that there is already a brand name in the public’s consciousness that will make marketing the film easier. This is what you get when you hire people with MBAs to run your studios instead of people with actual filmmaking experience. But I wonder if that philosophy is going to backfire on the studio as the public sees more that this isn’t so much a movie about naval combat as it is an alien invasion film and decides to not plunkdown their money at the box office when it opens in May. Director Peter Berg could deliver a really thrilling action movie and the best that could be said about it may be “Why the hell didn’t they call this something else?”