EXCLUSIVE: Bryan Singer boarding 'Battlestar Galactica' for Universal?
UPDATED: Universal confirms Singer's involvment. Will he direct? And which version will it be?
I really didn't see this one coming.
One of the many casualties of Sept. 11, 2001 was the Tom De Santo/Bryan Singer version of "Battlestar Galactica," designed as a sequel to the '70s show, which was less than three months from shooting when the attacks on America happened. Since the Cylon sneak attack was a big part of the $14 million backdoor pilot they were about to shoot, Sci-Fi got very nervous about the film, and everything fell apart.
In the time since, obviously, Ron Moore and David Eick and the entire amazing creative team who did bring "Battlestar Galactica" back to television managed to not only get a new show on the air, but they've completed their run and they're gearing up on a spinoff series, "Caprica." Despite the amount of critical love that was displayed for the show during its run, I wouldn't call Moore's "Galactica" a phenomenon. It was more like a very enthusiastic and vocal cult audience. As a result, Universal seems to feel that there's more life in the property, and that there is room for another interpretation.
That's why they're nearing a deal with Bryan Singer to produce and possibly direct a brand-new "Battlestar Galactica" feature film.
[more after the jump]
The question this raises, of course, is how close will this be to the plans that Singer had for the material before Ron Moore's show aired? Right now, my sources indicate that the big decisions haven't been made yet. Singer is the first major creative element to be approached, so once they sign him, they'll go find a writer and they'll figure out exactly which story they're telling. It seems like he'd want to get back to the ideas he originally loved about the piece, but since that was developed with another studio, I'm not sure that would work.
And I'm not sure I buy that Singer's going to come in just to direct a big-screen version of the show that just finished its run. The series wrapped up pretty conclusively, with "The Plan" and "Caprica" already in motion as extensions of that story in different directions.
So is this going to be yet another all-new take on the premise? In February of this year, the announcement was made that Glen Larson had signed a deal with Universal to develop a "Galactica" film that was not tied to any previous version. This has got to be that same project, right? So I guess that means Singer and Larson are going to be sitting down to figure out what take they want to pursue.
Tell me... does Singer's attachment mean you're interested? Should Larson revisit this material already? Do you think Universal's going to be able to get lightning to strike again in the same spot?
And you can even read an interview where Ron Moore says he has no problem with someone trying a totally different take on the show if you click here.
So far, I haven't heard definitively that Tom De Santo is part of this particular version of the project, but I'm assumng that his long-term association with Singer and his obvious undying love for the material would lead to him reteaming with his long-time friend in some capacity.
I'd love to hear your reaction to this news, and as more details fall into place, we'll do our best to bring them to you first, right here at HitFix.
UPDATED (8.13) - Variety has confirmed, through Universal, that Singer has come onboard the project. We had sourced it completely enough that we were confident, but now we have independent verification, so I'm'a get all Nikki Finke up in here. TOLDJA!
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