I have been to a couple of movies recently which have subjected me to previews for Battleship, the upcoming film which was still being promoted as being from Hasbro, the same people who brought us the Transformers franchise and the table game Battleship. Early trailers and write-ups were emphasizing that the movie was based on the board game, although they seem to be de-emphasizing that now.
This probably has to do with the fact that the movie actually appears to be Transformers 4: Hey, Now We’re In The Ocean! In fact, I have struggled for weeks to understand what the movie has to do with the board game, other than the actual presence of a Battleship: lots of aliens that look like the aliens from Transformers, and make lots of metallic clicking and growling sounds like the aliens from Transformers, but no kids incorrectly guessing where Liam Neeson’s battleship is.
And then I realized that I know what a Battleship movie that is actually based on the board game would be like:
Two nations have full, ample naval fleets – but no intelligence agencies. So, as tensions build and war breaks out, the two nations are relegated to taking turns firing missiles to random locations, hoping to hit one of the enemy ships.
They also have no air force, so to find out if they have actually hit the enemy fleet, each nation is dependent upon the other calling periodically to say “miss” or “hit”. When they occasionally hit the enemy, there is great excitement: “Oh, we have hit the enemy. Unfortunately, we don’t know what type of ship we hit (our enemy failed to mention it during their last phone call). So, let’s fire near the last location, and see if we have hit again!” This gripping battle goes back and forth, until one fleet has been entirely sunk, and the audience has died of boredom.
Now, wouldn’t you go see that, again and again, eventually buying it on blu-ray?
Having figured out how to make a really exciting movie about a board game, I thought we should take it to the next level. So, let’s crowdsource this: what other board and table games would you like to see as movies, and what type of movie would your game of choice be? What do you think would be the hardest board game to make into a movie?
For example: My brother and I began thinking about this, and he suggested that Connect Four might be the hardest game to make into a movie. After a little thought, though, I suggested that, in the spirit of Battleship, Connect Four would be a romantic comedy about four hip young urban friends trying to find love but being repeatedly blocked just short of the goal. Depending on if this was a big studio project or an indie, in the end one of the young beautifuls would find true love (or not); in the closing scene, a giant sinkhole would open up, and all of the checker/hipsters would collapse into it.
Okay, now it’s your turn! Let’s make a movie!