Don’t get too excited about a new version of Dune hitting theaters anytime soon; Peter Berg, who will be directing a new adaptation of the Frank Herbert book, has at least two more movies ahead of him before he gets to Arrakis. It was revealed tonight in Variety that Berg’s next picture is going to be Battleship, which he’ll follow up with an Afghan War film called Lone Survivor.

We’ve known that Berg was attached to direct Battleship- and yes, it’s an ‘adaptation’ of the Hasbro game – for some time, but a new two picture deal with Universal sets that film as his next project, shooting in the spring for a July 2011 release date. Moving Battleship to the front of his queue was a way of getting Lone Survivor made. “It was pretty obvious to me they weren’t jumping head over heels to
make a war film in the Middle East right now,” Berg said. “So they
said, ‘what if you give us ‘Battleship’ for July 2011, and we guarantee
you’ll follow with ‘Lone Survivor?’ I already loved the take we had on
‘Battleship,’ so that wasn’t a hard deal to make.’ “

So what is that take? Variety quotes Berg as saying it’s “a contemporary story of an international five-ship fleet engaged in a very dynamic, violent and intense battle,” but against whom he won’t say.

I’m not down on the idea of a Battleship movie as long as the film isn’t beholden to the game – ie, it isn’t like a kid playing the game falls into it and becomes the admiral of the fleet. A good naval adventure with a known brand name is fine by me.

But with this two picture deal I’d say that the earliest Berg gets Dune up and running is 2015.