While we've taken our fair share of jabs at Universal's $200 million board-game-turned-alien-invasion-movie "Battleship," leave it to James Cameron, Lord and Commander of all things 3D and blockbuster-driven to deliver the most caustic zinger yet against the film.
In an extensive interview with SpiegelOnline (seriously, James Cameron seems to give more interviews when he's not making movies than when he is; but we digress), the director follows up an extended riff about how soulless Hollywood is (no joke) and gets truly fired up when the topic moves over to the lack of original ideas or stories in Hollywood. Here's Cameron uncut (and apologies for Google Translate's wonkiness):
"Yes. We have a story crisis. Now they want to have to sink ships "from the game" make a movie! This is pure desperation, because now the Sequel Business Hollywood governed or how we call it: the franchise. This means turning from something already successful a sequel, because everyone in Hollywood knows how important it is that the movie before it comes into the cinemas, is already a brand. If a brand has been around, "Harry Potter" for example, or "Spider-Man, you are light years ahead. And there lies the problem. Unfortunately, because these brands are always ridiculous. Battleship! This degrades the cinema."
We find absolutely hilarious that James Cameron is willingly oblivious to the fact that his own "Avatar" is a big branding and merchandising machine itself, not to mention that two more sequels are on the way. But hey, we guess when you make one of the biggest blockbusters of all time, you can say whatever the fuck you want.
No response yet from Peter Berg, but we guess that Cameron won't be getting a Valentine's Day card. In Cameron's defence, "Battleship" sounds like a camp classic in the making with a bizarro cast -- Liam Neeson,Taylor Kitsch, Alexander Skarsgard, pop star Rihanna, Tom Arnold, Hamish Linklater and model Brooklyn Decker -- and it has many hurdles it needs to clear before a) making us believe that Rihanna is in the Navy and b) giving us any reason not to laugh it out of the theater.
We guess that James Cameron won't be in line for "Battleship" when it opens on May 18, 2012.