So after a maybe-it-will-happen-maybe-it-won’t dance that made the possibility of a Battlestar Galactica film feel like the most frustrating kind of vaporware, it now looks like there might finally be a film version of the beloved space epic. Yay?
The idea, according to Variety, is “a complete reimagining of the story” of BSG. This is the kind of news that gives geeks (like us) hyperventilation levels of anxiety. On one hand: Hey, there’s going to be a Battlestar Galactica movie! On the other hand: Hey, someone is going to go in and “reimagine” a much-beloved franchise. (Sigh.)
Aside from the news that Universal is moving forward with plans for a film, there are very few details about what this new flick will entail, so we put on our Wild Speculation Hats and decided to break down what could go very right—or very wrong—with this new Battlestar reboot.
Pro: The original series creator Glen Larson is signed on to produce.
Larson—the guy who executive-produced the original show in the late 1970s and on whose work Ronald D. Moore’s updated series was based—is locked in to produce the new movie. Considering he did a bang-up job creating the show’s original aesthetic, there’s no reason he couldn’t shepherd another version for the big screen.
Con: It’s being written by a untested writer.
Variety also reports that the scribe attached to pen the screenplay for the new Battlestar is Jack Paglen. If you don’t know that name, you’re not alone. Paglen is hot right now because he wrote the forthcoming Johnny Depp flick Transcendence. But that’s it. (And, frankly, the guy-loads-self-into-computer thing of Transcendence really has us scratching our heads—also, one of our colleagues saw an early cut, and was not a fan.) Paglen is also signed on to write the Prometheus sequel, but other than that he has no other bona fides and little to no ties (maybe he’s a fan?) to the original stories.
Pro: It’s still a new Battlestar Galactica movie.
There’s no other way to say that. For those of us who have been missing BSG since 2009 and just aren’t getting the same rush from Netflix marathons, the idea of any new hot Cylon action (and, sure, political metaphors and keenly observed drama and space jumping) is an appealing one. The idea of humanity looking for a home is always going to have its appeal, and—let’s face it—we’ll still line up to see it.
Con: “Complete reimagining”? What the frak?
It would be nice to say I was the first one to think this, but Rebecca Pahle at The Mary Sue beat me to it: How do you cram a story as epic as the tale of Battlestar Galactica into a two- (or three-) hour movie? Will it have to focus on the Cylon rebellion? Caprica? Or is Universal thinking this may be a series of films? Really hard to tell—and really hard to imagine all of Battlestar in a single standalone film.
Pro: Familiar faces could be back (please be Starbuck, please be Starbuck—or Six! Please be Six).
Ok, we’re imagining this “reimagining” means there isn’t much room to bring back old favorites for the new film. (Honestly, bringing back kinda-heavy Adama would be a sight for sore eyes.) BUT maybe they could call up Katee Sackhoff (Starbuck) or her BFF Tricia Helfer (Number Six and her various copies) to come in for some other similar roles? Or maybe bring back Mary McDonnell (President Laura Roslin) as some other no-BS lady? Just a suggestion … that probably won’t happen.
Con: Familiar faces probably won’t be back.
Pro: It doesn’t have a director.
Although there were whispers in 2009 that Bryan Singer might be down to helm a Battlestar movie, that seems unlikely, considering that whole X-Men franchise thing. But this leaves the door open for any number of brilliant young directors to step into the chair. (Give me Looper’s Rian Johnson or give me death!)
Con: It doesn’t have a director.
As much as the film’s lack of director means there is room to pick someone great, it also means there’s a big question mark as to what the vision could be. Until it gets a director, it’s hard to know what this film could look like.
Con: No one has said the name Ronald D. Moore yet.
The elephant in the room. Moore’s resurrection of the series for Syfy (then Sci-Fi) in the 2000s was nothing short of miraculous, and as the modern IP’s de facto overseer, we’re sure he could do great things—but he seems pretty busy producing Helix and Outlander these days, so we’re not holding our breath for him to work his Galactica magic a second time. (Besides, no one’s mentioned his name yet.)
So there you have it—the pros and cons. This film, should it ever get made, has a lot going for it and a lot that it could get right or wrong. In the meantime, cautious optimism is the name of the game. So say we all.