Universal has been hard at work for years trying to get a big screen adaptation of the classic TV series Battlestar Galactica off the ground. Early work on it was shelved when the SyFy Channel’s television version took off and became a fan and critical hit. But now that there is some room separating us from the series’ 2009 finale, the studio has been working to bring to the big screen a new iteration of the story of refugees fleeing from a genocidal attack perpetrated by killer robots.
To that end, they have now added The Social Network producer Michael De Luca onto the project in an effort to “jumpstart” things, according to The Tracking Board. De Luca, whom is being quoted as a self-professed “huge Battlestar Galactica fanatic,” will be joining Bryan Singer, who has been attached as a producer on various versions of Galactica since 1999.
Singer’s involvement stems from a relaunch of the television series that would serve as a sequel to the original show for the FOX Network. The production was to the point where set and prop construction was underway when the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 happened. (You can see a special effects test reel for the project below.) Work on the project was delayed a month, forcing Singer to drop out as director of the two-hour pilot film due to his commitment to helm X2: X-Men United. Without Singer in the director’s chair, Fox grew less enthusiastic and passed on the project. He re-signed onto the Galactica project in 2009 as a producer for the currently in development big screen version in 2009.
Reportedly, the new film will draw more inspiration from the original 1978 TV series than from its 21st century counterpart. Whether that means the villainous Cylons will be more robotic than their SyFy Channel counterparts were remains to be seen. Perhaps it could indicate that tonally it might be more in line with the space opera vibe of the original series rather than the much darker, post-9/11 atmosphere of the second series.
When we last checked in on Universal’s Galactica development, it was almost two years ago and Universal had just brought on Transcendence screenwriter Jack Paglen to write a screenplay for the project. Prior to that, Anonymous screenwriter John Orloff had been hired in 2011 to write a draft. It is not known if Paglen’s draft is still in play or if a new writer will take the reigns.