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Battleship Missouri closed for filmmaking

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Film crews from the Universal Pictures movie "Battleship" have taken over the state’s resident dreadnought, the Mighty Mo, forcing the Battleship Missouri Memorial Association to close the popular tourist attraction to the public for several days.

The USS Missouri, berthed permanently at Ford Island, was closed yesterday and will be closed today, tomorrow and on Sept. 15, the association announced.

"Battleship" has been gearing up all summer. It began filming late last month and is scheduled to be here for six weeks. Earlier this year, Universal towed the Missouri out to sea for filming. A spokesman for the picture said yesterday there are no plans to move the battleship again.

Universal announced yesterday it had signed its biggest star to the movie, Liam Neeson.

The 58-year-old Neeson, who earlier this year played Zeus in "Clash of the Titans" and Col. Hannibal Smith in "The A Team," will star as the character known as "Admiral Shane."

"Battleship" also features Taylor Kitsch as a naval officer named Hopper who is engaged to the admiral’s daughter, Sam, played by Brooklyn Decker.

Alexander Skarsgard and Rihanna also star in the film.

Peter Berg, who directed "Hancock" and "Friday Night Lights," is directing.

"Battleship," loosely based on the Hasbro board game of the same name, has been described by Universal as an epic story that unfolds across the seas, in the skies and on land "as our planet fights for survival against a superior force."

The film is expected in theaters in May 2012.


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