I really loved Morgan Spurlock's The Greatest Movie Ever Sold and I thought it was very brave of you to speak out ...
I haven't seen it! What did I say in that movie?
Basically admitting that product placement is part of the business – and lo and behold, in Battleship, there is Subway and there is Coke Zero and even bloody Doodle Jump ...
Doodle Jump, we didn't get any money out of! Doodle Jump is my favourite game. It's on my phone. Doodle Jump was - that was me. There was no placement there ...
But I was just going to ask you whether you found your words from Morgan's movie coming back to haunt you a little bit in this?
You know, my next film, Lone Survivor is a very violent true story of a bunch of soldiers who were killed in Afghanistan. There won't be product placement deals there. But I won't ask for the amount of money that we asked for for Battleship. It's a different audience. I won't be sitting in this preposterous office, like Donald Trump, talking to you when we do press for Lone Survivor. It's a different experience.
I think, as a filmmaker, if you want to kind of play this game and make these kind of super-films that are insanely expensive and have huge financial expectations and thousands of people, the spill-over, the ripple effect – movies like Battleship or Transformers, when they work, they're the fuel that drives lots of other films, feeds thousands of mouths and puts a lot of kids in college. So if you want to make these kinds of films, I think there's a responsibility to do everything you can, within reason, to protect the integrity of your film, but also help get that money back and product placement today is just part of that.
We have – it's been reported - $15 million of marketing dollars being given to this film as a part of our product placement deals and that's important, that helps get the movie out there in ways that the studio can't afford to do. So if it means we're going to have a scene where Taylor Kitsch touches a can of Coke, okay, we'll do that. We'll try and do it in a way that feels organic. You know, I drink Coke – you probably drink Coke from time to time. You know, these are commercial films. It's not within all of our abilities to say, 'Yeah, we're making a commercial film and we're going to say fuck off to the commercial industry.' I don't have a problem with it.
We touched on it briefly, but tell me more about your next project.
Lone Survivor, which is a book by an ex-Navy SEAL named Marcus Luttrell and it's a true story of a very complicated fight that occurred between some Navy SEALs and a large Taliban army in the Hindu Kush region of Afghanistan in 2006 and it's just one hell of a story.