Almost 40 years ago, Glen Larson created Battlestar Galactica as TV's answer to the high flying brand of sci-fi that Star Wars exposed audiences to in the previous year. Though it only lasted for 21 episodes, its impact on the world was felt and the rest was history. Now, after having a successful modern reboot, the original recipe franchise has been moving towards a big budget movie, with some impressive talent circling its wagons.
Word on the adaptation of the classic TV show came from Deadline, who have also picked up on the fact that writer Lisa Joy's hiring has come not too long before her previous project, HBO's Westworld, is set to debut. While she's locked in, director Francis Lawrence is only looking at the project for the time being, though considering his pedigree in the genre, as the director of three installments of The Hunger Games and 2007's I Am Legend, it wouldn't be that shocking if he decided to join up. It must be stressed again that Glen Larson's original series is up for a reboot, not the 2004 reboot, so apologies to those of you expecting Edward James Olmos to pop up as Admiral Adama.
Battlestar Galactica's reboot comes at an interesting time in sci-fi, as the genre's pendulum has started to swing back towards 1970's properties, with Westworld coming to TV this fall and Logan's Run constantly evolving in its course towards becoming a full fledged film project yet again. Interestingly enough though is the fact that Universal decided to make a film version of the 1978 variant, which was less the hard scrabble military drama that Ronald D. Moore's reboot was, and instead occupied a more mythical sort of niche in the sci-fi world. Then again, if J.J. Abrams can resurrect the vintage Star Wars feeling that fans had for the original trilogy in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, then every other sci-fi franchise is fair game.
Of course, the fact that Lisa Joy was hired to write the film may indicate that Universal is going to hedge their bets with Battlestar Galactica, and bring a more modern take to the original storyline. So rather than use the 2004 series' plot of humanity being on the edge, and Cylons being able to infiltrate humanity with their 12 models of decoys, we'd see a modern flavored film franchise that would keep Cylons square in the realm of a visible threat. Though should this first film succeed, there's always the possibility of using the 2004 shows' twist as grist to keep the mill running. Either way, this seems like a Battlestar Galactica that will be an easy PG-13, in order to compete with the modern film market.
While the prospect of adapting the 1978 version of Battlestar Galactica for modern audiences sounds a little risky, it's not an impossible feat. We'll keep an open mind as to what the future of the project will bring, and as soon as any details about casting or production schedules start to arise, we'll report back as soon as possible!