We've known about the board game Battleship being adapted for film for some months now. And although it's easy to be cynical about a movie based on a board game whose sole plot point is the line "You sank my battleship!" we really can't pass judgment until we've seen it. James Cameron, however, can.
WorstPreviews.com suggests Cameron "feels that the only reason sequels exist is because Hollywood is out of ideas and is forced to re-use the same characters and storylines." WorstPreviews translated an interview Cameron gave the German website Spiegel, where he said:
We have a story crisis. Now they want to make the Battleship game into a film. This is pure desperation. Everyone in Hollywood knows how important it is that a film is a brand before it hit theaters. If a brand has been around, Harry Potter for example, or Spider-Man, you are light years ahead. And there lies the problem. Because unfortunately these franchises are become more ridiculous. Battleship. This degrades the cinema.
It's true that Battleship is a popular brand—the Milton Bradley game has been played since 1931—but it's hard to call this one a "story crisis." The game consists of two players; you and your opponent attach your ships to a vertical board and try to "sink" each other's ships by guessing their location on the grid. The movie, however, involves an invading alien race and the human fleet that repels it: a story that has been created from scratch.
Despite our previously mentioned cynicism, there are actual signs that Battleship could be worth watching. Acting superstar Liam Neeson and True Blood's Alexander Skarsgard have been signed. The movie will also be directed by Peter Berg, whose film (and TV show based on the film) Friday Night Lights won critical acclaim.
Counter this with the fact that the movie also stars Rihanna, who is better known for her singing than her acting. Plus Berg's other foray into the genre was the TV movie Virtuality, filmed as a pilot but never picked up as a show, and his superhero movie, Hancock, was considered good by some but mediocre by others.
Cameron absolutely has a point that reboots and adaptations are a symptom of a lack of creativity. However, his argument is weakened by the fact that he plans on writing and directing Avatar 2 and Avatar 3.