I am not making this up-
Universal has set July 1, 2011, for the release of “Battleship,” confirming Peter Berg as helmer of the live-action pic based on Hasbro’s naval combat board game. Deal is part of a two-picture pic pact Berg has made with U, where he’ll follow “Battleship” with an Afghan war drama “Lone Survivor.”
Universal’s date declaration positions “Battleship” to become the second film release from the studio’s multiyear deal with Hasbro to turn its classic games into features. The studio previously set an April 11, 2011, release date for “Stretch Armstrong,” with Steve Oedekerk about to deliver a script.
“Battleship” is the latest in Universal’s strong push toward branded entertainment films, and Hasbro has fast become an increasingly important cog in that campaign.
“This is a powerful brand, and in an era where brands have become the new stars, ‘Battleship’ is a big opportunity,” said U Pictures chairmen Marc Shmuger and David Linde.
Aside from “Battleship” and “Stretch Armstrong,” U is separately developing “Clue” with Gore Verbinski, “Monopoly” with Ridley Scott, “Candyland” with director Kevin Lima, and “Ouija” with Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes. As a board game, “Battleship” was launched by Milton Bradley in 1967 and has sold more than 100 million units.
Imagine that, one drama drawn from a real occupation, the death of Afghans as compelling as a board game as far as corporate cinema is concerned. And both will sell Empire.