"Asteroids" lands at Universal

Thu Jul 2, 2009 10:13pm EDT

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LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Universal Pictures has won a four-studio bidding war to pick up the film rights to the classic Atari video game "Asteroids."

Matthew Lopez will write the script for the feature adaptation.

In "Asteroids," originally released as an arcade game in 1979, a player controlled a triangular spaceship in an asteroid field. The object was to shoot and destroy the hulking masses of rock and the occasional flying saucer while avoiding smashing into both.

As opposed to today's games, there is no story line or fancy world-building mythology, so the studio would be creating a plot from scratch. Universal is familiar with such a development process: It's in the middle of doing just that for several of the Hasbro board-game properties it's translating to the big screen, among them "Battleship" and "Candyland."

Lopez came out of Disney's writing program and worked on that studio's recent movies "Bedtime Stories" and "Race to Witch Mountain." He also wrote the most recent draft of "The Sorcerer's Apprentice," currently in production with Nicolas Cage and Jay Baruchel starring.

(Editing by Sheri Linden at Reuters)

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