Variety reports that Barbadian pop songstress Rihanna has signed on to join True Blood's Alexander Skarsgard and Friday Night Lights star Taylor Kitsch aboard Peter Berg's alien invasion action adaptation of the board game Battleship. While "adaptation" clearly may be understood here in the loosest possible sense, the film's action will be generally naval-oriented, although aliens are ostensibly involved in the action somehow.
Director Peter Berg elaborated on how the aliens fit in to the picture in a recent interview with CHUD.com: "The idea of finding a credible context... eluded me. The idea of a film where America goes to war against China, or a movie where America goes to war against England or Australia or Japan, one of the countries that has a credible navy, felt like it would borderline on some kind of jingoistic American military exercise I couldn’t get my head around. I like the idea of something bigger, larger than life and the challenge it presented."
What makes the film "larger than life" are "The Regents," Berg's alien species. While he didn't give away too many details in the interview, we know that the aliens won't have superior technology and, surprisingly, have not come to Earth to take over or otherwise exterminate human beings.
Said Berg: "You’ll understand them. [Industrial Light and Magic]'s doing a terrific job of creating The Regents, the folks who inhabit these ships. Some of them are very scientific and very intelligent, not violent at all, and others are more violent. But they’re all concerned with the fact that they have a very real mechanical problem with one of their ships, and they’re trying to deal with that."
That certainly leaves me more intrigued and less incredulous than I was when I first heard Battleship's premise, though it's still too early to make any kinds of predictions about the movie's future. Obviously the addition of Rihanna will raise some eyebrows, as this is her first feature film - will she be the next Britney Spears (remember Crossroads?) - or could she have a crossover career like Jennifer Lopez? She's certainly a sexy addition to an already hot cast - I just wonder if that's going to be enough.
Battleship will hit theaters May 18th 2012.