The Duplass Brothers Explain How They Would Have Made ‘Battleship’

By  · Published on June 26th, 2012

The Duplass Brothers got into making movies by making movies. Some called it Mumblecore, but it should really be called The Nike Method. Their latest, The Do-Deca-Pentathalon features two brothers locked in an epic (yet secretive) sporting event that they take exactly as seriously as it needs to be taken.

But as Mark and Jay Duplass explain in this interview, no matter the type of movie they make, they’ll always focus on the small moments and emotions that arise from them. One example? Battleship. If given the blockbuster, here’s how the pair would have delivered the littoral explosion-fest

Mark Duplass: I think inherently, Jay and I are interested in feelings. We’re obsessed with feelings, so even if we made…Battleship…and that was the script we were heading into, we would start gravitating toward how the men on that battleship felt towards each other, and we’d probably have a whole scene about someone angry with someone else because they keep leaving hair on the soap. It’s just what we like. So, we’re almost helplessly and hopelessly ourselves. It’s not an attempt. It just comes out.

Right. So specifically, how would you change Battleship? You’d add more hair on the soap, and what else would make it a Duplass Battleship movie?

Jay Duplass: I think that it would be, more specifically, as opposed to events that are happening outside, missiles being launched in the air, missiles being launched in the water…

MD: We’d hear those in the background.

JD: …but we’d be focused on the hallway between two specific rooms where somebody was just walking too loudly one night, and then another guy has to come out and figure out how he’s gonna confront this person that – every time he goes to the latrine – he’s hocking a loogie a little bit too loud.

MD: And the reason why he’s doing this is because he’s secretly very upset that the other guy has been hogging the blender for his kale smoothies.

JD: Absolutely.

MD: And he has not been cleaning it sufficiently.

JD: No, he hasn’t. It’s a little bit stinky every time he turns on that blender. It would be about the cabin fever of a group of men living together. They love each other, but they’re about to destroy each other. So, I think the deaths that happen on the battleship in our movie would eventually come from someone strangling someone else because of domestic problems.

I feel like there’s a really profound sentiment there – that aliens are attacking but we’re the ones that will destroy ourselves internally.

MD: Plus, you can make that movie for about $500,000 because all you have to do is steal one wide establishing shot of a battleship that you use every 20 minutes to remind everybody where you are, and then you shoot the other things in a really dirty porn stage in downtown Los Angeles for $500 a day.

Check out the entire 12-minute interview below:

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