Peter Berg talks 'Battleship,' sports movies
May, 18, 2012
By Lynn Hoppes | ESPN.com
Peter Berg, known for directing the popular movie "Friday Night Lights," is hoping Friday turns out to be good once again as the alien-invasion action movie "Battleship" opens today.
"It's just a fun, popcorn movie," Berg said of the movie, which takes its title from the board game in which two players try to sink the other's ships. "This is a family-style adventure. Parents will be happy with it. Kids will love it. It's just a lot of fun."
Berg is one of the most successful multidimensional people in Hollywood, starting out as an actor on the medical drama "Chicago Hope," and then turning to writing ("Chicago Hope" and "Friday Night Lights"), producing ("Lars and the Real Girl" and "Wonderland") and directing ("Hancock" and "The Rundown").
This film, which cost about $200 million to make, tells the story of brothers (Taylor Kitsch and Alexander Skarsgard), both Navy officers, whose ships must battle aliens invading Earth. Kitsch worked with Berg before on "Lights."
"I'm just comfortable with Taylor. I like working with people over and over," Berg said. "It's like working with a brother or a sister. We can develop this type of shorthand. We needed that for this emotional and psychological game."
After this blockbuster, which already has made more than $200 million worldwide, finishes its run in the United States, Berg said he likely will turn to another sports movie.
Some topics on his list:
"I read about the Derek Boogaard story, and how he died at 28 from an accidental drug and alcohol overdose while recovering from a concussion," Berg said. "That story fascinates me, the idea of looking at sports and addictions."
Another is the story of the firing of Mike Leach at Texas Tech.
"That one is fascinating to me also. I like looking at the psyche of people and wonder why they do what they do," Berg said. "I'd also look at the dark side of sports."