Since its debut in 1978, Battlestar Galactica has never really been absent from popular culture. That first series may have only run for one season, but it has been rebooted, re-imagined and re-worked more times than anyone over the age of 35 would probably care to remember. Despite more failures to launch than successful orbits, Universal has assembled a team of powerhouse producers to make a Battlestar Galactica movie franchise a reality.
Michael De Luca (Captain Phillips, Moneyball, The Social Network, and the Fifty Shades franchise), Scott Stuber (The Break-Up, The Kingdom, Ted) and Dylan Clark (The Heat, the Planet Of The Apes franchise) are combining their considerable forces to begin piecing together what the studio hopes will become a movie series of the tent-pole variety. While that sounds, perhaps, ill-advised, it is certainly the case that the Battlestar Galactica brand has enormous potential for development.
Created by Glen A. Larson (Magnum P.I, Knight Rider, Buck Rogers In The 25th Century), the original series lasted just 21 episodes, and starred Richard Hatch as Captain Apollo, Dirk Benedict as Lieutenant Starbuck, and Lorne Greene as Commander Adama.
The premise set up a rich history, in which a delegation of humanity had reached the Twelve Colonies, having migrated from their home of Kobol. However, a perpetual state of war between the Twelve Colonies and the Cylons (a race of cybernetic beings intent on the destruction of the human race) led to humanity being betrayed by a human named Baltar. The Colonies and its protective forces came under brutal Cylon attack – devastating the population and sending the surviving humans fleeing to the stars aboard the Battlestar Galactica. Under constant threat of further ambush, the survivors search for the safety of the mythical Earth.
Attempts were made in 1980 and 2003 to revive the show, but success was elusive until Ronald D. Moore created a reboot show that ran from 2004 to 2009. Maintaining the original premise, the show modernized its details, having its storylines focus on human drama, while dealing with issues such as race, religion, gender and sexuality. By the end of its run, it had garnered more than thirty awards. A prequel series – Caprica – failed to make it past the end of its first season in 2010, and a pilot for another prequel series – Blood & Chrome – was not picked up after production in 2013.
But, the potential remains, and Universal apparently hopes to tap it. The question is, will there be room on the cinema screen for a Battlestar Galactica universe, alongside Star Trek, and Star Wars? There is one way in which producers De Luca, Stuber and Clark could help it stand out from the crowd, and that is to include diverse range of voices and creators right from the very start. Given that the project has yet to have any writers or directors attached to it, this is the perfect opportunity to actually get it right.