UniversalPictures has signed a first-look production deal with writer-director PeterBerg and his partners John Cameron and Sarah Aubrey through their fledglingproduction company Film 44.

Berg recentlydirected and co-wrote Friday Night Lights for Universal and is currently in development with thestudio on the Middle East thriller Kingdom, which Michael Mann is producing.

"Pete - as an actor, writer and director - has a greatinstinct about the business," Universal Pictures chairman Stacey Snider said ina statement.

"Through the newproduction company, formed with Cameron and Aubrey, we know we will bereceiving the most interesting, diverse and innovative films."

"We couldn't behappier to be working with all of our friends and colleagues at UniversalPictures," Berg added. "We are good to go."

Berg, Cameronand Aubrey first met on Friday Night Lights, while Cameron and Aubrey had previouslycollaborated as producers on Bad Santa.

Prior to that Aubrey worked as a corporate attorney withGreenberg, Glusker, Fields, Claman, Machtinger and Kinsella.

Maria Williams, Berg's longtime production partner, isalso part of Film 44 and will serve as associate producer on future projects.

Berg, Cameronand Aubrey are represented by Endeavor, while Berg's attorney is Barry Hirsch,and Cameron and Aubrey's lawyer is Stephen Espinoza.