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British Dramatist Will Write 'Asteroids' Movie

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British screenwriter/director/playwright Jez Butterworth--who last wrote the biographic Naomi Watts thriller Fair Game, for which he won the Writers Guild of America West's 2011 Paul Selvin Award--has now earned the honor of adapting the timeless man-against-nature tale of crude ship shooting crude rocks, Asteroids.

Variety reports he's been hired by Universal to rewrite the screenplay for their video game adaptation, which has already been whittled down to smaller, more manageable Asteroid chunks with previous shots at scripts from Matt Lopez and Evan Spiliotopoulos. It's unclear what the latest draft of the script looked like, or what Butterworth will do with it from here, but last year, when Independence Day's Roland Emmerich was being discussed for director, word was the film was to follow the Battleship method of adding some aliens to the game, focusing on a human colony living in an asteroid belt beside a secretly-malevolent extraterrestrial race. But in light of Battleship's modest box office success, will that still be the premise? Will any ships actually shoot any asteroids, just to pander to those of us who are sort of expecting at least that? And can this be the antagonist?

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