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Adam and I love movies.  We also love board games.  And though the idea of movies based on board games may sound absurd, we’re setting out to prove that doesn’t have to be the case.  So in the first of a (maybe!  probably not!) continuing series, here’s our pitch for Battleship, the movie.  And no, our version doesn’t involve aliens.

Our Battleship tells the story of a (fictional) Cold War naval battle, the secrets of which have just now come to light. The U.S. – Russian skirmish was led and fought by an admiral on each side who have a shared past thanks to a World War II exchange program.

Midshipmen together in the US, they were best friends and class standouts at the Naval Academy. Subverting cliche a little, the American is strictly by the book in his tactics, where the Russian is more seat of his pants. Perhaps obviously, this will be relevant for the final showdown.

Their friendship is strong, but the ideological pressure of the Cold War proves an insurmountable strain as they fall further and further out of touch as they rise the ranks of the Navy, both becoming admirals by 1970.

The 1973 oil crisis had global ramifications, including a scramble by both superpowers to find alternative sources of oil. A subsection of a decade-old report by Scandinavian scientists theorizing the potential for an oil field in unclaimed territory off the northern coast of Greenland suddenly takes on the utmost strategic importance.

Both sides send out fleets to secure the area. Already high tensions are exacerbated when an American aircraft carrier gets damaged by unexpected ice that is initially suspected to be a Russian mine. An overzealous higher-up in the Navy orders a reciprocal sinking of a Russian aircraft carrier.

Faced with the potential of a cold war suddenly becoming very hot, our two hero admirals reach an unspoken, implicit agreement to take their fleets toward the North Pole, in an effort to defuse the situation. But when a captain of one of the Russian vessels goes rogue and fires on an American ship, severely crippling it, the two sides are forced into an epic battle, trapped by the ice into a confined area.

The two friends turned mortal enemies are forced to exploit their friendship to anticipate the other’s every move, adroitly using their subs and destroyers as the primary units of warfare, protecting the battleships. The epic battle rages on, with both sides suffering heavy losses. As the battle nears the end, all ships are sinking or immobilized, save for the heavily damaged American battleship, which seems like it might be able to be the sole ship able to escape. Understanding the potential Cold War ramifications, though, the American admiral leaves his ship open to one final attack, one he knows his Russian friend will anticipate for similar reasons, and as that final ship goes down, he utters the famous final words, mournfully, but with a hint of a smile: “You sunk my battleship.”

July 2017
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