According to Variety, Rogue Pictures, Universal's Gotham-based genre unit, has joined forces with L.A.-based Crystal Sky Pictures to back Doomsday, the next project from British writer-director Neil Marshall.

The pitch is the first snapped up by Rogue president of production Andrew Rona since he joined from Dimension Films four weeks ago.

Doomsday is described as a futuristic action thriller with political overtones, set in northern England and Scotland.

Rogue, which is taking worldwide rights to the pic, is bankrolling development of the script under an aggressive deal to move rapidly toward production next spring in the U.K.

recise details of the plot are being closely guarded.

Rona said, "It's in the vein of 'Mad Max,' set in the near future, when the world has become a very intense place to live. A disaster threatens the future of mankind, and a team of people have to stop it."