It’s been well known and publicized that Hasbro has an ongoing campaign involving making numerous Hollywood films of some of its more enduring toy properties. Like G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra and the Transformers films, Battleship takes the world imagined by anyone who’s ever played the game and interprets it for the screen. And it would seem like nothing but a big commercial if so much care and talent weren’t poured into it, starting with producer/director/actor Peter Berg.
In his vision for this particular project, Berg is compelled to explain why the title actually is a bit of a misnomer. “Even though the film is called Battleship, actual battleships have been taken out of active naval duty and replaced with these bad boys, Aegis naval destroyers — the most lethal fighting ships on the planet,” he explains of his update on the naval war film, adding that the Navy was fully behind the project. “The Navy liked the fact that their branch gets to save the world. The destroyer sailors liked that for the first time a movie’s focus wasn’t on an aircraft carrier.”
Among the other talent gracing Battleship are Liam Neeson, Taylor Kitsch and multiple Grammy winner Rihanna, who plays tough gunner Petty Officer 2nd Class Cora Raikes. “Raikes kicks a lot of ass,” Rihanna says. “She’s one of the boys, and it was fun to explore that because I was a tomboy as a kid. The character is filled with raw energy, and it was a moment for me to be someone completely different than what people are used to seeing. It was exciting for people to see me as an actress and look at me as Raikes and not Rihanna.”
Rihanna also had a strong role model in Battleship‘s technical advisor Jacqueline Carrizosa. “I looked at Jacque and thought she was Raikes,” Berg explains. “I saw her in the RIMPAC Cup, and she was the only girl playing soccer with a bunch of guys. She was all tatted up and had on this bad-ass band T-shirt. She is a hard-core, dedicated soldier who was more than holding her own. I thought that she would be a good role model for Rihanna, and the two of them got along great.”
Battleship is available starting Aug. 28 on Video On Demand. Check your cable system for availability.
Photo: © 2012 Universal Studios.