Sunday, February 22, 2009

Movie? Really?

IGN Movies and the Hollywood Reporter are reporting that Universal Pictures is planning "Battlestar Galactica" as a feature film with original series creator Glen A. Larson being lined up to script and produce it.

Coming Soon.Net:

The film will be based on the original series from 1978-79 rather than the recent reboot from the SCI FI Channel. In the series, humanity lived on twelve colony worlds in a far distant star system. They fought a thousand-year war with the Cylons, warrior robots created by a reptilian race which expired long ago--presumably destroyed by their own creations. Having never been commanded to cease fire, these warrior robots continuously waged war against the colonials. Mankind was defeated in a sneak attack on their homeworlds conceived by these robotic servants, now referred to as Cylons, and carried out with the help of Count Baltar (John Colicos). Protected by the last surviving warship, a "battlestar" called Galactica, the survivors fled in any ship that could fly. The Commander of the Galactica, Adama (Lorne Greene), led this "rag-tag fugitive fleet" of 220 ships in search of a new home on a legendary planet called Earth. The series co-starred Richard Hatch and Dirk Benedict.

The Movie God at Geeks of Doom sums it up perfectly:
The foundation of both shows is that civilization was decimated by the machine race known as the Cylons and the survivors’ fight to find a new home called Earth while led by Commander Adama. The big difference is the high amounts of sex, politics, and pure human emotion that the current show delivers, which bring a certain realism to this fictional future; while the 1978 show has that hardcore ’70s cheese factor we’ve seen many times before.

Naturally, there are many fans of the old show who hate all the thinking that goes into the Ronald D. Moore version, so they’re all about this announcement. Personally, I think it’s the worst idea ever picked out of a hat on “Brainstorm Tuesdays.”

In all honesty, while the current show is about to end, it is still here, and it will always be there to watch over and over again long after the finale. There’s also the new prequel show called Caprica, which is on the way and already tying in to the current show’s mythology. Because of these facts, Universal can go right ahead and make their Battlestar Galactica and attempt to do something brilliant with it. But… if they do ultimately decide to make it, the real question becomes: how stupid an idea is this really?

For a studio to seriously ponder trying to create a movie based on a property that has already been taken and ingeniously constructed into one of the best shows ever created — well, that’s just absurd to think about. I can’t wrap my head around it. Add the fact that the current show is still running and as popular as ever, hell, you may just incite a fanboy riot, Universal.

Curiously enough, I’m not so much of a fan of the show where this news angers me. I love the show very much and all, but I’m writing this not to yell and shake my funny hat, but out of sheer, solid confusion at the simple notion of it all.

If a movie could ever fail without even being started, this right here is it, folks. Sad.

Glen Larson controls the movie rights to Battlestar Galactica, and he's tried to make a big screen version several times before. There was also an attempt at a BSG continuation series by Bryan Singer and Tom DeSanto that fell apart for various reasons, which finally led to Sci-Fi and Universal to turn to Ron Moore and David Eick to develop BSG.

So, I guess it's true: This has all happened before. And it will happen again. And again.


Anthony said...

Can I vote "no"?

gorehound13 said...

We must all fight the YARM (Yet Another ReMake) seriously.
I will by not supporting these lame studios any longer.I will now go out to the movies less and will also buy less products.
I am sick and tired of this mindless industry.Nearly everything they touch goes to crud in the end.
this idea is BS.......

Rasmus said...

A few decades from now, the time will be right for a retelling of the Galactica story. But it will be another epic series like the current one -- I firmly believe we're seeing the birth of a tale that will be retold again and again, with new twists and turns, but always following the same basic arc. We know how it will end, but we still love the telling of it. It's about the journey, not the destination.

Larson would do well to think about how epic tales like the Ramayana and Mahabhrata evolved in the hands of storytellers over the centuries. He created the story, but he didn't give it an ending -- not really. Moore's contribution is to give it an ending -- one that recognizes that the tale's epic universe is not our universe -- it's a mythic place, more like that of Greek mythology, rather than something so unimaginative as that of Galactica 1980.

Sorry, Glen. Too late. You can't unring the bell. When the story is told two hundred years from now, when its heroes find Earth it will still be a nuclear wasteland.

Eric H said...

@ Rasmus: Enjoyed your articulate take on epic storytelling. Although I am not sure we have seen the last of planets called Earth in this BSG incarnation.

crone51 said...

Oh dear. This just seems to be a very very bad idea.

James said...

"Naturally, there are many fans of the old show who hate all the thinking that goes into the Ronald D. Moore version."

I strongly doubt it. A Larson remake will face a very strong backlash from people who have grown to love the RDM universe. Dumbest. Idea. Evar.

b c said...

I heard about this. Well, we have to concede that a good film could be made regardless of the origin of the story. And we should probably keep as open to that possibility as we wanted fans of TOS to be open to RDM's version.
But geez, Mr. Larson, this ship has sailed! Let it go, let it go, let it go. Stop cannibalizing and just move on with something new and inventive.

snuggs said...

Well I don't think so. I think it will be just fine. The original story line was always solid. The writing and the acting was campy. But things change.

Plus I must say this: There is a bunch of us who think the last 2 seasons have well for better words stunk. Good acting was still there but the story was hapless relegated soap opera crap. My problem with Ronnie's story is it became predictable. Yes there a parts of this show that throw you on your head a few ways from Sunday, but predictable nether the less. I knew Ellen was the 5th way before the continuation of the 4th season. I also had figured the Earth that would be found would be either pre-industrial or a post Nuclear Holocaustic planet.

Don't get me wrong I will watch this show till the end, and hope that the action will pick up. But if I'm right the ending is going to be lame and predictable....

I'd give Larson's group a chance before most of you Ronnie suck ups throw it out with the trash. But alas I am already too late....


Anonymous said...

This is insane.

Look, I watched the 70s show as a kid and again 10 years ago. And I'd venture that the only people who are still pining for the old show are like Dirk "Sackhoff stole my balls" Benedict and the like.

These people are complete morons if they think folks who feel strongly about this show will go see anything based on the lame storylines from the 70s show.

I mean, daggits, insectoid aliens, and felgercarb? No frakking way.

Rasmus said...

It sounds like he wants to do a Serenity-like closure film for the original series, picking up from the point where it left off.

No question Universal could do a good job with that, if they were to put some real money into it. But my point made above stands -- Moore has already defined the ending of the story. [Larsen, of course, knows exactly what that is -- we don't, not yet.]

It all boils down to this: what is Larson going to do with Earth? He's already tried once and failed pretty miserably.

Note to Universal: Let me guess -- he wants want to do the time-travel thing, right? They'll finally arrive at a future Earth unable to defend itself and Starbuck will travel back to our time to give it the technology it needs. [Something like this was the original idea behind Galactica 1980, before the time-travel concept was killed by the network.]

Anonymous said...

Let's boil it down to exactly one truth: EVERY remake of a Glen Larson property from the 70s has been an abject failure except for one... The one he had nothing to do with besides his name in the credits. Which one was that again?

I'll give you a hint: It wasn't Bionic Woman, or Knight Rider, or... (you get the point)

Anonymous said...

He should do it if only to not cast Dirk Benedict as Starbuck again. For him being a d-bag and out of spite.

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty shocked how people react to this - at a time when hardly anything about this project is known! I wasn't there back in the day, but I guess this how the fans of the old BSG reacted when they were told about the remake back in 2002.

I mean, yes, I love the new BSG. And I don't like the old BSG at all. But let's face, a feature film based on BSG03 was neither viable (too obscure, too edgy) nor desirable (imagine all the compromises they would have forced down RDM's throat).

And for all his flaws, Larson is still the man whose original ideas this fantastic series we all love so much is based. Sure, he doesn't like what BSG03 has done to the characters, and we all disagree. But why shouldn't he be allowed to prove that even the oldschool version of the premise can be told in a fresh way?

Besides, is a new movie gonna take anything away from the unique greatness that is the new BSG? Of course not. Even if it'll become an epic fail (unlikely), all the pre-premiere buzz will attract plenty of people to the mainstream-wise underrated BSG and Caprica.

Tony said...

Didn't Universal also decide to exercise its James Bond rights and bring back Sean Connery as Bond in Never Say Never Again? Their BSG idea could make Never look like the most brilliant move ever.

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