Peter Berg discusses bringing "Battleship" to film

Thu May 17, 2012 4:37pm EDT
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By Zorianna Kit

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Peter Berg parlayed successful acting work on TV shows like medical drama "Chicago Hope" to an even greater directing career of movies such as "Friday Night Lights," which later became a TV series, and the Will Smith action flick "Hancock."

On Friday, Berg's latest film, alien-invasion actioner "Battleship," steams into theaters. It takes its title from the Hasbro board game in which two players engage in a guessing game to see who can sink the other's naval ships.

The film uses the board game as a jumping off point to tell of two brothers (Taylor Kitsch and Alexander Skarsgard), both Navy officers, whose ships must battle aliens invading Earth.

Berg spoke with Reuters about the film, his own memories playing the board game and why he cast pop star Rihanna in her first acting major movie role as a petty officer.

Q: Were you given any particular instructions from Hasbro when trying to adapt the board game to the big screen?

A: "'Battleship' was a great creative exercise. I was under no mandate to do anything but make an entertaining and compelling film. That being said, it was a lot of fun for me and the writers to come up with creative ways of referencing the game. One of my favorite sequences is almost a literal reference to the actual game of 'Battleship' where we see some low tech attempts to locate the enemy."

Q: Another reference is a variation of the famous phrase in TV commercials: 'You sunk my Battleship!' Any others?

A: "There was a variation, yes. And if you look closely at the weapons that the aliens fired, they just might resemble those old plastic pegs from the game, only a little more vicious. Also, the idea that the radar is out and we cannot locate the enemy, we cannot see the enemy, we are fighting blind. Those are just a couple of references. If you pay attention, I think you can find a few more."   Continued...