A staple of the sci-fi genre, Battlestar Galactica went from cult fave to immense crossover hit when the original show from 1978 was reimagined in 2003 to become a glossy new TV series. The concept of Battlestar is intriguing — the prosperous Twelve Colonies are attacked by the vicious mechanical Cylons, an enemy of their own creation. With their population drastically reduced to the tens of thousands, the humans set off through the galaxies to find the legendary Thirteenth Colony, known to us as Earth.
It’s a story which draws from the quest stories of lore, with a good dash of space-bound military aesthetics, parallels to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and a ton of philosophical themes thrown in for good measure.
Ever since the original 1978 show was cancelled, there have been many reboot and revival efforts to bring Battlestar Galactica to the big screen. The latest proposed cinematic adaptation was announced back in February, but details for the plot were thin on the ground. News fell silent about this for a few months, but now the movie seems to be forging ahead.
New Writer & Possible Director
As reported by Deadline, Lisa Joy is the newest writer to helm the Battlestar Galactica reboot. Joy started her career on Pushing Daisies, and is currently scripting and executive producing the HBO revival of Westworld.
Deadline also mentioned that The Hunger Games’ Francis Lawrence is considering directing Battlestar Galactica — this dynamic duo could give Battlestar the perfect blend of original, character-driven writing and gritty action-sequence direction. Here’s hoping Lawrence does jump on board.
Aside from the new additions to the creative team, there’s not much we know about the movie. It seems as though Universal were taking pitches from writers for the story, and the fact that they’ve settled on Joy probably means she came to them with a bright idea of how to revive the franchise.
And of course, there’s one question on everyone’s minds — is this a complete reboot, or will the movie lead on from one of the TV shows?
Going Back To Basics
Before there was Game of Thrones, there was Battlestar Galactica. The 2003 show combined a lofty sci-fi concept with compelling characters, complex politics, military strategy, and of course, a good dose of sex and violence. This proved very popular with fans of sci-fi and more general viewers, and the series continued to garner positive reviews until its controversial conclusion.
After the 2003 show ended, SyFy continued to expand the franchise, with the prequel series Caprica and several standalone feature-length episodes filling in the blanks in the story. However, none of these really took off, and in 2013 SyFy announced they were done with Battlestar Galactica, freeing up the franchise for a possible movie adaptation.
It’s not been explicitly stated in any of the press releases, but it’s highly likely that Universal’s new Battlestar Galactica movie will be a complete reboot rather than a revival, drawing inspiration from both TV shows but establishing a new version of the story.
Although this will come as a disappointment to some fans of the original shows, taking the story in a new direction is probably the best thing for the franchise. Battlestar Galactica has a long history of failed movie adaptations, dating right back to the 1978 show’s cancellation.
X-Men executive producer Bryan Singer was on board to write and direct a Battlestar movie back in 2001, but his treatment dealt heavily with themes that became a little too risque after the 9/11 attacks. Interestingly, his concept was later used for the Season 3 time-jump in the 2003 show, as the survivors of the Twelve Colonies find themselves under occupation by the Cylons.
Clearly, there are a myriad of plot possibilities using the concept of humanity being relentlessly pursued by the Cylons, as they set off on their interstellar quest. We could see aspects of the shows being re-used, or a totally new story. Personally, I’m hoping to see re-imagined versions of the central characters — Starbuck was originally male in the 1978 show, but Katee Sackhoff’s female interpretation proved hugely popular and influential for women in sci-fi.
Right now though, we’re still playing a waiting game until more details about the film are announced. But so far, the project is looking very promising.
Which aspects of the TV shows would you like to see incorporated into the new film?
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MP staff writer. I talk about superheroes a lot. Sometimes I’m paid for it.