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Universal Hires Writer For New Big-Screen BATTLESTAR GALACTICA

(Photo: Lee Stringer)

Battlestar Galactica is about to get its third “re-imagining” in less than thirty-five years: In an exclusive at Variety, it’s been reported that Universal is gearing up a big-screen movie version of the classic sci-fi property, and they are set to develop the film as a complete re-imagining of the story. Transcendence writer Jack Paglen has signed on to write the screenplay. Paglen is also set to write the sequel to Ridley Scott’s Prometheus for Fox, which will start production towards the end of this year .Original 1978 Battlestar series creator Glen Larson will produce the film.

This isn’t the first time rumors of a revival of Battlestar Galactica have cropped up; a few years ago it was reported that director Bryan Singer of X-Men and The Usual Suspects fame was attached to a movie version, but those rumors seemed to go nowhere (he doesn’t seem to be attached to this version.)  This was just a few years after the revival series went off the air, and needless to say, reaction was mixed-to-bad to this idea.

Writer/producer Ronald D. Moore’s revival of Battlestar, which aired on the SyFy Channel from 2003-2009, was one of the most critically beloved science-fiction series of all time, with writing and acting that was usually on a whole other level than most television sci-fi fare, and gaining a legion of devoted fans, may of whom usually did not watch space opera. No doubt a movie version will cost a lot more, and focus more on spectacle than character, drawing very unfavorable comparisons. But Battlestar is a brand name, so if Universal feels they can make some money off this concept via a giant tentpole movie, it means we are gonna see this movie sooner rather than later.  Of course, the million dollar question will be, “is Starbuck 3.0 gonna be a girl or a boy?”

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56 comments

  • I actually got to listen to and meet Richard Hatch at the Atlanta DragonCon in 2001. He showed a 10 minute video of his idea for reviving BSG as a continuation of the original series. “Apolo” was now “Commander Adama”, sitting in the big chair. What was left of the “rag-tag fleet” was still drifting through space, still being harried by the Cylons. He envisioned Colonial “bombers”, new vipers, new Cylon raiders. He actually had a pretty cool concept for BSG’s return. His idea might make for a cool stand alone movie or two. I would see that. (Who am I kidding? If there were a BSG movie, I’d be first in line!!)

  • It is a shame that Hollywierd can’t come up with an original idea. The first series was awesome because it was original. The second series was OK but felt it was a watered down version of the first and now I think the Movie will be a watered down version of a watered down version. Sure the special effects will be good, but if they want to change it, don’t call it Battlestar. Get an imagination folks.

  • I haven’t watched a lot of the original, but I have to say the reboot was amazing. Great actors, characters, music, story lines – were there things that happened, but were never expanded on, of course there was. Maybe we’ll get lucky and this reboot is one of two things.
    Option 1) We are on the first Earth and we get to see that fall of Man.
    Option 2) We see the Fab Five create the other Cylons and the whole Daniel story line.
    I have a feeling this will get heat, but please keep in mind some of the execs see BSG as a way to make money not as something we value.
    So Say We All

  • As if SyFy channel hadn’t already totally screwed up the series, now Universal Studios is going to see how much more damage THEY can do to the show. Hollywood needs to come up with some original ideas or just shut down and stop screwing with classic shows. It is painfully obvious that the Hollywood writers don’t have a single original thought in their entire collective brains.

    • Obviously, you are to young to have watched the Original when it aired. As the younger generation it wouldn’t appeal to you and you’ll never understand it’s following.

  • As a child of the first BSG in the 70′s and a fan of the SyFy series I felt that the first series left us hanging. Sadly Loren Green died and the first go around was never complete. But the SyFy series and other spin offs (like Razor) not only gave me closure on all of the characters but filling in the BSG universe completely for me. So I really don’t know what story there is to tell here. Especially one that needs to fit in a 90 minute feature film. I hope I’m wrong but I feel this is a doomed project that is trying to milk a franchise that was spent long ago. Ultimately the producers will take a bath with their only hope being DVD and download sales. So what’s the point then?

  • Those of you hoping that there will be some sort of fusing of the two will be sorely disappointed. This will have nothing to do with the RDM version of BSG, as Glen Larson made it painfully clear that he wanted nothing to do with it (besides collecting royalties, of course) and didn’t like it at all. He holds the rights to BSG on the big screen, which is why we never saw a feature length film like Firefly/Serenity got, because he wouldn’t ever give the approval.

    And to those of you bitching about the gender switches? Hello, it’s the 21st century calling. Take your sexist tropes and stick them where the sun don’t shine. :)

    • It’s not a gender/sexism issue! There were plenty of female characters in the original TV series that could have been developed more. For that matter they even had an episode the laid the ground work for future major roles. The decision to change the characters for the new series was purely political posturing and made solely on the premise that todays society can’t appreciate the value of solid entertainment unless it bends to the whims of the culturally retarded. If your going to “Re-imagine” a movie/series, you don’t change who the principle characters are. That’s ridiculous! Besides, the original series was one of the more prominent proponents of equal opportunity you could have found. There was no good reason for that change. I could go on about what affect it had on the Cain character but I would run out of space. Lets not repeat the debacle that the new BSG created.

  • It would be great if they picked up where where the series ended: the Cylons return to Earth 2.0 and threaten humanity all over again. Most of the old crew is still alive — Sam knows the Cylons are returning. Instead of driving the fleet into the sun, he summons the liberated Centurions to rebuild and repair Galactica. When he arrives back to Earth 2.0 Galactica is as good as new, but with hybrid Colonial/Cylon technology. The crew reboards, Kara mysteriously appears, ensuing drama unfolds, etc.

  • It would be great if they picked up where where the series ended: the Cylons return to Earth 2.0 and threaten humanity all over again. Most of the old crew is still alive — Same knows the Cylons are returning. Instead of driving the fleet into the sun, he summons the liberated Centurions to rebuild and repair Galactica. When he arrives back to Earth 2.0 Galactica is as good as new, but with hybrid Colonial/Cylon technology. The crew reboards, Kara mysteriously appears, ensuing drama unfolds, etc.

  • Heard about the other reboot and NEVER watched it because it was a depressing farce with a lighting budget that couldn’t be supported by buying old incandescent bulbs at the Dollar Store. Sorry, folks, Starbuck is a GUY and I know because in my younger days… Dirk Benedict honored me with a flat out pass at a convention. :) Anyway – I watched half an episode of the redo and thought… this is NOT why I watch Science Fiction.. and I could care less about any of these pissed off space Goths…. Maybe this might be tolerable of there’s even a fraction of human hope on display. The best chance however…is that I’ll be saving ten bucks. One day the younger generation might learn that special effects don’t make science fiction… humans dealing with the future does.

    • Here, here! I totally agree. This whole deal with…lets explore the characters and forget about the plot…thing is backwards. YES I KNOW, you need interesting characters, but the plot is the single most important aspect of any show.  The characters only enhance that. This is why Starbuck being a ladies man was an important aspect of the character.Man, as a species, is struggling to survive and here is this guy who is fighting for that idea…BUT is afraid to commit to a traditional lasting and meaningful relationship. It’s funny and it kind of parallels the idea of humankinds struggle to survive. Special effects are great but good acting and proper casting are a must. 

  • Why all the animosity towards more Galactica? Do you all just want to see the franchise go away and never return? We live in a world where Star Trek and Star Wars live on, as long as it’s done well I for one want to see Galactica live on. And enough with the “reimagining” term, they are making a Galactica movie and starting from scratch, what other choice is there? Obviously the hope is to create a movie series that keeps the BSG universe going, hopefully with some new twists and concepts. I’m sure the idea will be to keep the drama and character development that was the staple of the Ron Moore series but bring back some of the action and adventure and pure “fun” of the original series as well. I would love to see a version of Galactica that fused the two into one big, exciting and intelligent story that makes us proud to see the old girl return. The overall plotline of BSG has always been compelling and if a new, theoretically definitive version does it right, who wouldn’t want to see it succeed??

    • Unfortunately, in todays movie industry, the products turned out are crap. For all the special effects, and money spent on the New Star Trek Movie, it had many a Trekies cringing. It was entertaining and it tried to tie in elements from previous canon, but it had some big flaws. This is more than likely what would happen to Galactica. Fans would end up disappointed if it were produced in the same manner as all the rest.I too would love to see the series get the respect and success it deserves but putting on rose colored glasses won’t disguise a turd. I would be very surprised if a movie was made that would spur a new wave of fans big enough to carry it to heights of Star Wars or Star Trek. Nice thought, but unrealistic I think.

  • A Fresh Restart Of Galactica At The Movies Would Work.
    The Besy Way To Do It Is For The New Ve3sion To Be Based On The Original Series Which Had Some Great Stories In It’s Short Run.
    Elements Of The New Series Which Aired Almost 10 Years Ago Have To Be Blended In To Bring The New Version Of Galactica Current With Today’s Times.
    Starbuck Has To Be A Man This Time Around And Be A Light Hearted Character Like In The 1970s Show.
    Recasting Yhe Original Series Roles Will Be Hard. But Is Possible.
    Go

    To Go Aboard The Galactica Once Again And At The Movies Would Be Terrific !

  • Seriously? What was wrong with the last series of BSG that they think would benefit from another remake? Instead of ‘re-imagining’ these stories, why don’t they try to find something new?

    • Man-o-man, could I ramble on. Just check some of my other comments to get a HINT of what was wrong with the last series. The problem with doing something, new, is that the brain dead robots of Hollywierd can’t come up with anything fresh. They haven’t had an original idea for quite some time now. Television isn’t much better. When someone does come up with something, all the other networks jump on the band wagon and run the idea into the ground (with their own twist of course). Its really that bad.

  • All of this has happened before, and it will happen again, and again, and again… as long as there are box office and merchandising profits to be made. So say we all!

    (see, it happened again already)

  • All of this has happened before, and it will happen again, and again, and again… as long as their are box office and merchandising profits to be made. So say we all!

  • I look forward to seeing what they can do with it.I am a fan of the ORIGINAL series no matter how hokey it was it was still entertaining.I never liked the reboot so maybe this will peak my interest.

  • Starbuck: Your anecdotal evidence SOOOO convinced me that my friends, family, online nerds, cosplay Viper pilots, entertainment writers, and the Peabody awards were just some kind of awkward delusion. I don’t know where I’d be if you hadn’t snapped me out of it.

  • Starbuck, you have to fracking kidding me? I was a huge fan of the original, but was completely blown away with the newer version: grittier, better actors, better story. All of my friends and acquaintances who were fans of the original series became even bigger fans of the newer series. You must live a very sheltered life.

    • “From the mouths of babes”. If you are old enough to have watched the original back when it aired in 78, you would understand the reason for the distaste with the new series. As I’ve stated in one of my other replies, the new BSG played to todays politically correct, culturally retarded audience. There was no REAL reason to change the gender of the  principle characters they chose to butcher. The original series had several female characters (Athena, Sheba, Cassiopeia, Flight Cpl. Rigel and a host of others), which could have been brought to the forefront without changing the characters of Starbuck, or Cain, or Boomer.  The only reason to change the latter was to placate the feminist, homosexuals, and minorities (respective to the characters), that the networks were afraid would feel alienated. It did nothing to further the plot. This is why some of us old timers have issue with the remake.  It’s about keeping true to the story. Yeah, I loved some of the special effects, but that’s not what makes a show great. Its proper casting and great acting driving a clenching plot. I know that 70′s TV shows were not known for their great acting; but for what they were doing, it was pretty good compared to lets say… Buck Rogers in the 25th Century.

  • This is going to the well once too often and completely unnecessary. The first was passable TV for us Star Wars kids, the second was an incredibly awesome surprise, why would you continue to try to re-imagine it…there really isn’t enough there. How about they option an original story or even adapt a sci-fi novel/series that has not been already done? (And not some crap from L. Ron Hubbard). Seems to me Glen Larson can do nothing but milk the one idea he had until it has gone sour. I have no hope for this.

  • So they’re taking a TV show that was a ripoff of a movie, and turning it into a movie? ;-)

    Seriously though, whenever you take a TV show (focuced on characters) and turn it into a movie (focused on spectacle) the core of what you based the movie on is lost. That’s the main reason the Star Trek reboot was/is a disappointment. It’s not what Star Trek is – a TV show that requires time to focus on its over arching theme. The same will happen to BSG.

  • J. Starbuck like most TOaSters obviously doesn’t get out of her cat infested apartment much and therefore can not speak for knowing people who absolutely frakking loved Ron Moore’s BSG.

    • As a product of the younger generation, I’m sure you did love “morons”, I mean Ron Moore’s, BSG. It simply did not stay true to the Original and therefore lost its base (older) fans.

  • I felt the Moore “new” version was excellent including the changes that upset so many die hard fans of the original. Probably because I only saw a few eps of the original when I was a young kid and didn’t like or dislike it, I look at the Moore version as “my” version. I can’t imagine a different version being better than my version, so I don’t know why a studio would bother.
    I won’t be paying money to see a big screen version unless they get the Moore cast back for it.

  • Really? Bring it on!!

    For those that say the re-imagined series wasn’t as good, or you don’t hear about people that liked it, or liked it better than the original…well all I can say is that you must not get out much, because I hear it all the time. Caprica….not so much, and most would love to see Blood & Chrome made into a series.

    So I say, bring on the movie, can’t wait.

    As far as the brilliant JJ Abrams. Not the right project for him, plus he is going to be busy doing the next 3 Star Wars movies, so he would be out.

    As far as his screwing up Star Trek? Please, your protests fall on deaf ears. What he did was brilliant, completely change Trek history in the first 10 mins of the first movie, and basically thumb your nose at the cannon people for trying to rip the movies apart because they don’t follow Trek Lore/History.

    Well…that’s the point, and that is why it was so brilliant on JJ’s part that he did that. Any argument about the time line was made invalid in the first 10mins of movie 1.

    • I won’t address the Star Trek stuff except to say this. WHY CALL IT STAR TREK if your not going to stay true to canon? Why even base your movie on the franchise name if you don’t respect it? That’s pretty stupid. Your crapping on the fans who you want to come and see your movie. As for BSG I’ve responded to several of the comments posted here. Just read a few and you’ll know where I’m coming from.  I understand your affection for the 2nd series is probably because you didn’t grow up with the original. The younger generations are more in tuned with todays way of business. Political correctness and creative stagnation are the norm. This is where the new series and a new movie fail.

  • I was riveted by the re-imagined BSG to the point of sticking with Caprica, which I thought was wrongfully killed off…and with such deliberate killing that I’ll call it a murder. Kara Thrace rocked!

    To re-imagine beyond what’s already awesome is, well, overkill. I don’t plan on going, but I also plan on pestering somebody to revive Caprica.

  • Chiming in for another ‘I fucking loved the first two-ish seasons of the reboot’. So did a lot of my friends. So, you know, not so keen to see this redone. Again.

  • Technically, this would only be the second “re-imagining,” as the original was just imagined. I liked the reboot, but I’m still a diehard fan of the original, sappy and hokey though it be. If this is really happening, I hope the original storyline is restored, with alien Cylons-turned-cyborgs and a human civilization that is less gritty and dystopian than the reboot. And Starbuck should be a man…though I think Athena should already be a hotshot viper pilot who gives Starbuck and Boomer (also male) a constant run for their money just to keep up with her big brother Apollo.

  • Hollywood is getting so boring. They “re imagine” something that’s been made popular in the last 5 years, then they do it again. The series was one of the best sci fi dramas, or just plain dramas ever made. The original was just a star wars ripoff, and in fact, was sued by Lucasfilms for just that.

    I won’t pay money to see them trash what started out as retarded but was remade into something that made sense, only to be crapped out as another brainless sci fi action film. Hope Hollywood gets out of it’s Beat a dead horse mode soon and gets some imagination. So many great stories out there..The Dark Tower needs to be made. But only directors and produces like Ron Howard and Spielberg have any vision today. These young twerps lack imagination…

  • (A) BSG has already been “re-imagined” and quite well, thank you. It doesn’t need to be re-redone.

    (B) Kara Thrace is way more awesome than regular ol’ Starbuck.

  • I hated the last one, but maybe they will get this one right. No robots that look like people and for god sake bring back the alien story. The Cylons weren’t built by humans but long dead aliens, or thought to be dead maybe just hiding. The first show went off the rails just as bad as the last one, I still have BSG 1980. (Shudder).

  • Pray to GOD that they don’t give this movie to JJ Abrams. He fornicated up Star Trek to a degree I never thought possible. I’m guessing his attempt at Star Wars VII will end up with every character as Jar Jar Binks. BSG? No, it’s to horrible to even imagine! The Moore/Eick BSG was VERY well written, exquisitely cast/acted and not your “shoot everything you can in front of a black carpet with sparkles glued on and then throw in a sex scene” which is normally what we get out of Hollywood. I would really be honked off if the story got corrupted that way.

  • Unless Bear writes the music, and EJO and company come back, I don’t think I’m at all interested in this. Unless of course Richard Hatch is somehow involved- his short and his vision of BSG do look good to me.

  • As someone who lived through both tv versions, I must point out that regardless of what “critics” thought the remake was NOT as loved as has often been claimed. To point I have yet to meet a single person anywhere, convention store life ect, that is half as in love as cited in so many reports on the show. In fact most people including myself, thought it had a few nice ideas or plot points, was an extreme letdown! So if the movie can breath any type of new life into a great concept, the way Abrams did with Star Trek or take a great concept to even greater heights like Whedon did with The Avengers, I say take us through that nebula as fast as we can. To Earth we go!