‘Battleship’ Sets A Course For July 2011 With Peter Berg At The Helm

The word emerged today that director Peter Berg’s adaptation of the Hasbro board game “Battleship” will sail into theaters on July 1, 2011, according to a report in Variety. Berg described his adaptation as “a contemporary story of an international five-ship fleet engaged in a very dynamic, violent and intense battle.” It’s worth noting that he didn’t actually name the aggressors, so it could be anything from terrorists to aliens and beyond. Given Berg’s background — “Hancock,” “The Kingdom,” “The Rundown” — it could really be anything.

Last week, the MTV’s Eric Ditzian had a little chat with the director, and he was all too excited to discuss his upcoming board game adaptation. When Eric expressed skepticism about the feasability of adapting a game of this sort for the big screen, Berg jumped quickly to dismiss any concerns.

“That’s what we do man. It’s our job to crack these things… and they’re very crackable,” he said. “If you think about ’Battleship,’ it’s a naval battle game. It shouldn’t be impossible to crack that.”

Judging by today’s news of an “international five-ship fleet,” it seems he wasn’t kidding. “We have, I think… a really dynamic, badass take on the game which is very exciting to me, and I think it’s going to play quite well.”

“You’ve obviously got a huge brand in the name ’Battleship.’ It’s a game that everyone’s familiar with,” Berg said. The trick, as he put it, is to “come up with an idea for a story about naval battles that pays homage and references the game in a clever and appropriate way.”

Berg will follow up “Battleship” with Afghan war drama “Lone Survivors,” part of a two-picture deal he’s made with Universal. Once the two-fer is finished, the director intends to move forward with his adaptation of Frank Herbert’s “Dune,” which should hopefully have a finished script by then.

Are you sold on “Battleship” yet? If not, what will it take? Who should this five-strong international fleet be fighting, in your opinion?