By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW) Mark Logico, Commander Navy Region
Public Affairs Hawaii
Directed by Peter Berg, Battleship will feature the
and Japanese navies stumbling upon the point of an alien invasion. Berg's previous directorial works include "The Kingdom," "The Rundown" and "Hancock." U.S.
"I've always been a huge fan of the Navy," said Berg. "My father was a Marine and a naval historian. I was brought up learning about
Pearl Harbor, the campaign of the Pacific, and the Battle of Midway. He was particularly obsessed with World War II. The idea of making a film about naval warfare was something that was always interesting to me. What better place to set it than Pearl Harbor?"
The film is set in modern day, during a Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise. RIMPAC is the largest real world multinational maritime exercise that occurs every two years in and around the
Hawaiian islands. This year, seven nations participated in RIMPAC, showcasing more than 30 modern naval ships, with the goal of building relationships, increasing interoperability and improving readiness among allied countries.
Berg said there have been a number of films with old battleships like the USS Missouri.
"I thought it would be interesting to introduce the audience to the modern surface warfare," he said, "and some of the current destroyers, missile cruisers and some of the other things that the Navy has now, that they didn't have back in the old days."
One of the modern U.S. Navy destroyers featured on "Battleship" is USS Hopper (DDG 70), where the film crew shot several action scenes on the ship.
"The movie gives the Sailors a chance to see what
is like, and believe it or not, they are not unlike us," said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jim Dewitt, USS Hopper. "It brings a lot of different people out to see what the Navy is all about. All the people who are in the background, and all the people who are working for Hollywood themselves probably never got to do some of the stuff that we get to do." Hollywood
When the casting call was announced for scenes aboard the Battleship Missouri Memorial, Dewitt signed up to play an extra in the film. More than 300 Sailors and actors playing Sailors signed up to participate in the filming aboard
The scenes shot aboard the
included actors Taylor Kitsch, Brooklyn Decker, Alexander Skarsgard, Rihanna and Liam Neeson. Missouri
"I met most of the actors and actresses, and they are all very nice," said Dewitt. "They are very approachable individuals. A lot of people were kind of 'should I talk to them, should I not?', but they are as excited about being here as much as we are."
JBPHH Chief Staff Officer Capt. Lawrence Scruggs, showed his support for the movie by signing up to be an extra as well.
"The real value of having Sailors as part of that production is that we could "Sailorize" the actors who have no military affiliation," said Scruggs. "With Battleship, this is an opportunity for the Navy to reach out to the civilian population and say, 'Hey, look at us and look at what we do.'"
Scruggs said it is important to depict U.S. Sailors accurately.
"Somebody is going to see Battleship and see those actors and extras, and that's going to be their only impression of the Navy," said Scruggs. "You want that to be a good impression, because there are 330,000 Sailors and Marines out there right now who are just doing great stuff for the country. We want to portray those individuals accurately as well as those Sailors who have come before us."
Berg said he believes in research and authenticity, citing his previous movies "Friday Night Lights" and "The Kingdom," in which he used actual football players and FBI agents.
"As an actor, I like taking people who have never acted before and helping them find their inner actor," said Berg. "We all have an actor inside of us. To have the guys and gals on board ships like the Hopper, Shoup, Ronald Reagan, and some of the other ships that we have been on, do what they do…we could not teach an actor to do as well as they do it. They have a lot of fun. They're good at it, and it is fun to put real Sailors in the movie."
Dewitt said he hopes that he could at least be seen in the movie.
"There were a few scenarios where we had some close-ups done, but you just never know," said Dewitt. "It was still a fun experience. I expect that we will have a good portrayal of the Navy. They've done a lot of good Navy shots, incorporating a lot of the Sailors and service members around
. I also think that we are going to see a lot of action in this movie. They're pulling off a lot of different stunts and a lot of different things. They're going to show what the Navy is all about." Hawaii
Battleship is scheduled to be released May 18, 2012.