What Is True/Slant?
275+ knowledgeable contributors.
Reporting and insight on news of the moment.
Follow them and join the news conversation.
 

Jul. 28 2010 - 8:26 am | 494 views | 0 recommendations | 7 comments

Memorial Day 2012: Could Will Smith sink Rihanna’s ‘Battleship’?

MANDATORY CREDIT PHOTO BY DAVE M. BENETT/GETTY...

Can she beat the Men in Black -- in 3D?

Universal just may have assembled the most beautiful movie cast this side of Twilight. The studio has signed three of-the-moment stars — Friday Night Lights‘ Taylor Kitsch, True Blood’s Alexander Skarsgård, and, most recently, pop idol Rihanna – for Battleship, an action film based on the Hasbro board game that’s set for release on May 25, 2012.

For those of you who haven’t already done the math, that’s almost two years from now. Two years — a virtual eternity in pop-culture time. Kitsch, Skarsgård and Rihanna are hot now, but will we still love them tomorrow? Chances are that we will. But what about in 2012, when Battleship must wage combat against Men in Black III-D at the box office over Memorial Day weekend?

The film’s price tag, reported to be in excess of $100 million, is a lot of money to bet on three unproven leads up against Will Smith, probably Hollywood’s most bankable star. (Eight of his last nine movies have grossed more than $130 million in North America.) If Universal were smart, the studio would rush this thing into production for a 2011 release date (originally, it was supposed to come out next summer), if not to get away from Smith, to make sure that its principals are still piping hot.

I suspect that Rihanna will continue to sizzle. She’s beautiful and stylish, the perfect pop package, and we know the camera adores her. But can she act? For a film like Battleship, that might be beside the point. She already proved in the “Hard” video that she’s perfected her battle pose, and she wears combat couture gorgeously. She’ll also have some extra time to work on her acting technique for what will be her film debut —  at least as much as she needs to prepare for a role that is sure to be not particularly demanding on a thespian level. And she can even revive Jordin Sparks’ great 2009 hit “Battlefield” for the soundtrack.

Kitsch, who will portray Naval commander Alex Hopper should have no problem handling whatever acting tasks are thrown his way. He’s already spent four seasons as the resident bad-boy hunk on one of the most critically beloved shows on TV, so I’m surprised that he has yet to break out as a big-screen leading man. As for Skarsgård, who’ll costar as Hopper’s brother, he’s as improbably gorgeous as the others; he has a respectably lengthy resume (which includes the 2001 cult classic Zoolander); and HBO’s True Blood is nearly as high-buzz as Glee among TV shows. I have yet to be washed in the True Blood viewing experience, but I loved Skarsgård as Lady Gaga’s lover/tormentor/poison victim in the “Paparazzi” video.

So potentially disastrous release date aside, Rihanna has chosen wisely for her first movie role. She has two strong costars, and in Peter Berg, a well-respected director with a decent rack record. (Ironically, his last film, 2008’s $227.9 million-grossing Hancock, starred Will Smith.) That Oscar nominee Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker) considered taking on Kitsch’s role before opting to do There Will Be Blood director Paul Thomas Anderson’s next movie gives it a slight credibility boost. It might not be the best test of Rihanna’s potential as an actress, but it could be her ticket to movie stardom — at least for one summer blockbuster.

The only thing standing in her way will be Will Smith.


Comments

One T/S Member Comment Called Out, 7 Total Comments
Post your comment »
 
  1. collapse expand

    I’m just wondering what the plot could possibly be – if it’s based on the board game that I played with my brother 40 yrs ago…

    I realize that they can just make up anything, but this (to me) has flop written all over it.

    Dennis in Portland

Log in for notification options
Comments RSS

Post Your Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment

Log in with your True/Slant account.

Previously logged in with Facebook?

Create an account to join True/Slant now.

Facebook users:
Create T/S account with Facebook
 

My T/S Activity Feed

 
     

    About Me

    Ten Things About Me

    1. I was born in the U.S. Virgin Islands and moved to Florida when I was 4, but I've never been able to get rid of my Caribbean accent. When I was a kid and just wanted to fit in, I hated it. Now that I don't, I hope I never lose it. Not that anyone in Buenos Aires even notices it!

    2. I've been a writer and editor for People, Teen People, Us Weekly and Entertainment Weekly.

    3. My favorite city is London, and my favorite country is Italy. I hate Athens, Paris and Berlin.

    4. I once made Brandy's mother cry.

    5. I'm probably one of the few people on earth who can say I stood up a former Beatle. It was Ringo Starr, and I only did it because traffic through Central Park to the Upper East Side was so bad that I showed up to our interview 30 minutes late.

    6. My favorite band of all time is the Smiths. R.E.M. is second. The Cure is my third. I cried when Tammy Wynette, my favorite singer ever, died.

    7. "Atlas Shrugged" by Ayn Rand is my favorite book. I know it's cliché to say, but it changed my life -- not as a political or social manifesto, but as a personal one. What lessons did it teach me? Two: 1) To thine own self be true. 2) Just do it.

    8. "The Golden Girls" is my favorite TV show. I've seen every episode a billion times, but every time I watch one, I notice something I never noticed before.

    9. "Blue" is my favorite movie, and its star, Juliette Binoche is my favorite actress. When she won the Oscar for "The English Patient," all my friends called to congratulate me. By the way, I hated "The English Patient."

    10. At one point, I was doing so much on-air pop-culture commentary that when I walked into Mary J. Blige's hotel suite to interview her, she hugged me and exclaimed, "I've been seeing you all over the TV!" "Likewise!" I replied!

    See my profile »
    Followers: 71
    Contributor Since: May 2009
    Location:Buenos Aires

    What I'm Up To

    My personal blog

    Theme For Great Cities