Mike Fleming

The next hot directing job: Ouija, which will follow Battleship as the next Hasbro branded property to move into production at Universal since the Rob Letterman-directed, Taylor Lautner-attached Stretch Armstrong got pushed back and probably won’t start until 2013. The studio is still talking to directors, but I’ve heard that the three candidates in the mix at the moment are Taken helmer Pierre Morel, The Losers helmer Sylvain White, and Scott Stewart, who just completed the Screen Gems pic Priest. The pic is being produced by Hasbro’s Brian Goldner and Bennett Schneir along with Platinum Dunes partners Michael Bay, Brad Fuller and Andrew Form. Universal is planning to get the film into production next summer, for release around Thanksgiving 2012. That will follow on the heels of the Peter Berg-directed Battleship, which opens May 18, 2012. Ouija‘s a big picture, with a budget targeted around $80 million-$100 million. The script is by Tron: Legacy writers Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis. A decision will be made in the next two weeks, because all three of those filmmakers are being courted for other jobs.