Hollywood has now gone beyond turning the comics into movies. First came news that Ridley Scott was adapting the Monopoly board game into a movie. Now Universal has hired Peter Berg, the director of Friday Night Lights, The Kingdom, The Rundown and Hancock to bring another board game — Battleship — to the big screen.
Another day, another board game movie. Universal is adapting the Milton Bradley board game Battleship and has hired Peter Berg (The Rundown, The Kingdom, Hancock) to direct. Wow. Can anyone else believe this? Universal has a deal with Hasbro and has been setting up huge projects based on various board games like Monopoly and Candyland previously, but now Battleship? Brothers Jon and Erich Hoeber (of only the upcoming Whiteout so far) will write the script. The game will, obviously, be turned into an epic naval action adventure movie. Now I can use this pun properly – Peter Berg has “sunk” to a new low today.
Not much is known about the movie at this point except that they are planning an “epic naval action adventure” (clearly the Hoeber Bros will have a few gaps to fill in). I will say that this is the first board game movie that actually sounds decent, but realistically, the Battleship name has absolutely nothing to do with it. Would you watch a Battleship movie directed by Peter Berg? Will any of these board game movies actually be worth checking out?
As for me, I’ve always wanted to find out which would win in a one-on-one: the IJN Yamato or the USS Iowa? Board games are different from movies in that although there is a value of the game, in any given turn of play the outcome may be different. In any board game worth playing, sometimes the Yamatos would win, at other times the Iowas. The value of the game would be the proportion of times each won over the long run. I don’t think technology has evolved to the point where versions of a board game movie can be displayed depending on audience inputs. So exactly how Berg will turn battleship into a movie is an interesting question.
The following video clip is, to the best of my knowledge, the only available YouTube video of two Iowa-class class BBs firing at a target ship. It was taken I think, in the late 1980s. They are probably the closest thing to what the Iowas would have looked like if they were in combat against the Yamatos. The striking thing about the images is how, contrary to the image of a battleship as a lumbering, ugly tub, these ships are actually cruiser-like in their lines and are almost beautiful.