Update by Editor Peter Sciretta: Entertainment Weekly has confirmed this report with Universal Pictures — Bryan Singer is signed on to direct a feature film version of Battlestar Galactica, which isn’t expected to be a continuation of the most recent Ron Moore Sci-Fi channel television show, but instead a complete re-imagining of the original 1970′s series. Original report follows below.
According to HitFix, Universal appear to be on the verge of engaging Bryan Singer to produce and also maybe direct a new Battlestar Galactica feature film. Quite a surprise, huh?
You may recall that before the Ron Moore TV series of recent years, Singer was working on a pilot for a reboot of the show himself (some Cylon concept art from their efforts is at the head of this post). That one was halted by in the aftermath of September 11th, 2001 after the Sci-Fi network became sensitive to similarities between the planned plot and real-life tragedy. Would Singer be looking to return to a similar storyline here? I think we can be pretty certain his film won’t be in any way tied into the recent series.
McWeeny is rather skeptical that Singer would sign up to direct a film based upon a premise still so fresh in the public consciousness, but I’m not so doubtful, personally. Would Universal really be the driving force here? I’d expect a conservative cautious studio to take some convincing that there was money here. Or maybe they just want some of that Star Trek dollar?
If Singer cares about this film as much as his history with the Galactica concept would suggest, I’d not at all be surprised to see him take on as much control as possible. So while there’s every chance he won’t direct, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see it at all. After all, Superman Returns did fly in while Smallville was actually on the air.
This is almost certainly the same project that Peter blogged about in February, possibly a little mutated. At that time it seemed that the new movie would be tied in to the 1978 series and that original producer Glen Larson would be producing and working on the script. I’m guessing Singer was in orbit at that time, just that nobody caught on.
It seems, from where I’m standing, that there’s a core fanbase behind the recent Battlestar Galactica but across the public at large, just a vague awareness. This shouldn’t prevent a new version, of course, but I’d also expect it to create some minor confusion. If nothing else, it could ‘mistakenly’ shift a few copies of the recent DVDs to those who fall for the Singer movie.
One of the useful links in the HitFix article was to an interview from the unofficial Battlestar companion with Tom De Santo, Singer’s co-producer on the aborted 2001 series. He explains just how they would have tied in with the original series and, interestingly enough, it would have been a straight sequel with, for example, Dirk Benedict coming back to reprise the role of Starbuck. Now… they won’t try that again, will they? No… of course not… right?