Is third time the charm for Universal? The film studio has been working on bringing the hit SyFy series Battlestar Galactica (BSG) to the big screen ever since it ended its run back in 2009. Director Bryan Singer (X-Men franchise) was attached to the project but left in 2014, and both John Orloff (Band of Brothers) and Jack Paglen (Transcendence) have worked on scripts for the potential movie. Now THR are reporting that they’re trying again.
Producers Michael De Luca (American History X, Captain Phillips), Scott Stuber (Safe House, Ted) and Dylan Clark (Planet of the Apes franchise) have been tapped to create what Universal hopes will become a “massive event franchise”. No directors or writers have been linked to the re-re-reboot of the franchise as yet, but the producers attached seem to indicate that Universal are taking it far more seriously this time around.
For all five of you unfamiliar with the franchise let’s take a trip down memory lane. Created by the prolific producer Glen A. Larson, BSG essentially began as a TV series attempting to capitalise on the Star Wars space-craze in the late 70’s that (technically) ran for two seasons and, if my aging memory serves me, aired on the SABC on Friday nights in the 80’s. The story followed the few remaining human survivors of The Twelve Colonies, devastated after a surprise attack by the robotic human-created Cylons, aboard the aging warship Battlestar Galactica as they attempted to find the mythical Thirteenth Colony.
Then in 2003, 25 years after the series first aired, SyFy (when it was still known as the Sci-Fi Channel) rebooted the show with a two-episode mini-series under Ronald D. Moore (who had shows like Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine to his credit) and featured a powerhouse cast including the likes of Edward James Olmos, Mary McDonnell, James Callis and Nick’s true love prior to Chris Pratt, Tricia Helfer. The popularity of the mini-series lead to SyFy green lighting a full series which ran for five seasons between 2004 and 2009. The series was a dark and gritty reimagining of the original, heavily influenced by the 2001 9/11 attacks, and dealt with a number of adult themes such as terrorism, politics, religion and the nature of humanity.
During its run there were also a number of tie-in web series and direct-to-DVD movies – like the excellent BSG: Razor which delved into the backstory of the ruthless Admiral Helena Cain (Michelle Forbes) and the Battlestar Pegasus. Once the series ended a pair of prequel spin-offs were attempted: Caprica, which ran for one season and dealt with the creation of the Cylons, and BSG: Blood and Chrome, which was converted into a short web series before release and introduced us to a rookie future-Admiral Adama (Luke Pasqualino) during the First Cylon War.
Since then all has been quiet on the Battlestar front, with only the occasional rumblings about a potential feature movie being heard.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a massive BSG fan (to which my DVD collection and Cylon Funko Pop! will attest) and would love to see the franchise rebooted on the big screen as it has a ton of potential – particularly if it sticks to the mature story telling that it’s now known for; but this just doesn’t seem to be coming from the right place. It smacks of, “hey guys, you see how popular that Star Wars thing is? Space is huuuuuge right now. We need to make our own to cash in!” And I don’t want that, I don’t think any fan wants that – because that’s how half-arsed reboots get rushed to market and destroy a popular franchise for years to come. As they say: “All of this has happened before, and all of this will happen again.”
So, what do you think of a big-screen BSG reboot? Yay – so say we all – or nay – by your command?
Last Updated: February 11, 2016