Peter Berg talks Battleship and story reveals
Peter Berg took a bunch of people on a little tour of a Battleship to discuss the ideas behind the upcoming Battleship film, a film which sounds dull from the outset, and now is starting to sound rather crazy. I'm just not sure if that's crazy in a good way or not.
We know that there are going to be a bunch of modern day Battleships fighting an alien, ship based force, but now there are tons more details coming out, and it sounds bizarre to say the least.
The main theme is that the group of Battleships comes across an alien force who are building something. Now this force aren't aggressive, but just don't give anything in their way a second thought. So when the Battleships challenge them they turn to swat them away and find it's not that easy a battle.
"There's a group of life forms from some other planet have come to our planet for something. They've got a very specific agenda. That agenda is not global domination. It's an agenda and that agenda puts them into conflict with members of our military. Their technology is relatable. It's not incredibly far out and unbeatable. It's comprehensible…
…they're trying to build something because they're in trouble and they need a power source…they're trying to get something completed and in doing so they're not particularly concerned with any life that happens to get near them while they're doing that. They don't have anything against you but if you interfere with their agenda they'll kill you and that's why they have to be dealt with."
So that sounds quite interesting, it's not that they're here to cause trouble, they're just here to get something and get on with it, but it's when our paths cross with them that the trouble starts happening.
He took the various online journalists to see the Combat Information Center (CIC) where all the planning and control was carried out for these naval battles. There he discussed a little of what was being planned.
"This is a key set in the film. you put this screen on, it's very easy to imagine this as a much more sophisticated Battleship screen from the board game. What they're doing with this screen is identifying threats or identifying objects whether it be in the air, on the sea or underwater. Much the same way you would try to identify or locate your enemy in the game. You're trying to find an enemy over here (at one station) and over here you're killing an enemy. It's very simple. they've got a bunch of ways to find and a bunch of ways to kill…
…We'll be able to take a component of the game, which is someone trying to guess where this thing is, and when they see a TRAC (name for something on radar or visually that the Navy doesn't like) they're going to get some coordinates where they think that TRAC is, they're going to then lock into those coordinates, they're gonna fire, they're gonna put a ping on those coordinates and hope it's a hit. It's another example of how we can...I believe in a very intelligent and cool and entertaining way have fun with the idea of trying to identify a target, trying to hit it and trying to sink it."
Latino Review have a pretty comprehensive report from the Battleship and of Peter Berg's comments, it's well worth a read.
Talking more about Battleship Berg showed the online reporters some sketches of the alien vessels, which he said were pretty evenly matched against the ships and will look a little like water spider type creatures. Plus he stated very clearly that there's going to be a reason, a mission for them to be there and doing what they are doing, not just a gimmick to start the sea battle.
Berg was rather insistant on that point, and it's not going to be shoe-horned into a story to make the game work.
"it's our goal to make that as intelligent and logical, certainly as 'District 9' was able to do. But to provide a real intelligence to our opponent, a logic, a rationale for being there and not purely hostile, violent creatures bent on global destruction. They've got a much more logical agenda planned that happens to come into conflict with us. Then there's a chance for two relatively equal opponents to go at each other and you get a sense of some of the equipment you saw, the level and intelligence of that character of what modern sailors are today."
I have to say he's winning me over by this point, some of what he's saying is really suggesting some depth and realy story to the set-up.
I was still sceptical, I mean it's a film based on the boardgame really designed to sell more product, but when questioned directly on the push from the game makers, Berg was rather clear:
"There was no studio mandate to do it. There was no Hasbro mandate to do it. There's been very little mandate from anyone. The film is going to live or die basically on the creative team. We're not getting any mandates from the studio other than, 'Go out and make the best film you can.'"
Berg suggested that he had the same concerns, but that he asked the studio if they were going to be going after similar themes such as Abyss, District 9, War of the Worlds, and that led them to the door of Industrial Light and Magic.
All in all this sounds rather interesting, the group of ships seem to be cut off from the rest of the world and they have to find and destroy the alien vessels without, it would seem, a lot of the modern day technology and equipment, hence the old school feel of Battleships, and yet they are up against aliens.
You know I keep thinking of The Final Countdown, just with a huge role reversal. Stranded battleships, attacking forces, marooned from the rest of the world, etc. The more Peter Berg talks about it the more interesting it becomes don't you think?