Friday, August 14, 2009

Bryan Singer/big-screen BSG confirmed?

The BBC is reporting that Variety is reporting that Bryan Singer is confirmed to direct a theatrical version of Battlestar Galactica.

Galactica fandom has been buzzing about this for since February, with much anxiety over whether the new film will take place in (a) the universe of The Original Series, (b) the Ron Moore universe, or (c) an all-new reboot universe. When the rumors started in February, all signs pointed to a Glen Larson/old school version; MTV News seems a little more optimistic that the film might not be a total object of contempt for addicts of the RDM version:

"The project is literally at ground zero right now. With Singer on board, now it's time to find a writer, figure out the course such a project might take. Might Ron Moore step in to deliver a script? Anything is possible."

So... what do we think? BSG fans, weigh in! Pretend our Comments field is going to be read by every executive and artist associated with the film. What do you want them to know?

Personally - speaking as BSG addict Sam J. Miller, and not as an objective Sitrep editor - I like Bryan Singer a lot (enough to forgive him for Superman Returns, which might be the most bored I've ever been at a movie). X-Men and X-2, in my opinion, were way smarter than the average big-budget action movie. His sensitivity to the outsider, to people who are considered monsters, seems to be a pretty good fit for the RDM version's commitment to humanizing the cylons and presenting complicated issues in an engaging way - and is in direct opposition to The Original Series' depiction of the cylons as inhuman and pure evil.

The fact that he's openly gay and has pretty blue eyes has nothing to do with it.

Honest. Nothing.


Anonymous said...

I have to think they will not trample all over RDM's version of BSG, the 2003 version lasted much longer then Larson's version, and it is now what people think of when they think of Battlestar Galactica.

Fans of the 2003 version will be the ones who will make or break the theatrical release, so it would be foolhardy to not be sensitive to that with any new project.

Crazy Okie said...

One has to wonder - why BSG? I enjoyed the original as a kid, loved the re-imagined series from start to finish, but why do we need more? Can't we come up with something original?

My personal take on this is that Glen Larsen wants this to be true to the original, to try and erase the re-imagined series from memory.

Grant Gould said...

If they go for a total reboot of BSG, then I don't see myself getting too excited about it. I think it'll drive a lot of fans away. It's just too soon for another re-imagining.

Personally, I'd love to see a movie that focuses on the old Earth - the one that served as home to the final five in RDM continuity. You could do an entire stand-alone feature with an epic war against the centurions. It could be almost entirely separate from the Ron Moore stuff, and yet it would fit well into that universe's history. (Hell, I say go all out and give us a young Saul Tigh, etc.) :)

There's so much room to expand on the Ron Moore BSG world.. I really hope they go that route.

Anonymous said...

I suspect if Larson's involved, we'll get a big screen version of the Miniseries, but with Starbuck back to being a boy and only Centurions. I would've been very excited about this project ten years ago, but now it feels like its time has passed. I don't see any way a two-hour movie can possibly do anything that I don't already have on DVD.

Singer's a fine director, but Superman Returns doesn't fill me with confidence about how he'd update campy 70's source material. They'll HAVE to make it "edgier and darker", but they won't want to use RDM's version, so Adama will be more like Cain and the main story will be father-son fight over how best to shepherd the fleet. And the only girl will be Athena stuck on communications.

Maybe it won't play out that way, but right now, I'm not exactly thrilled with the prospect.

Rick said...

I saw the original BSG in movie theaters when I was a kid, and religiously watched the series. But, RDM's version was great. Now, its hard to think about BSG going back to its disc roots.

David said...

If we give Singer and Larson the benefit of the doubt, and consider that they have or will think about a lot of what has allready been said (in particular of the people they will need to make this release), it seems to me that the chance exists for something interesting within the re-imagined universe. You could do the Battlestar Galactica in the first Cylon War, or something like that. It does not have to be literrally this BSG.
It does seem awfully soon for another re-imagining....

Anonymous said...

I used to think Singer was pretty good, but X Men 1 and 2 have held up less well to me, except the awesomeness of Ian McKellan as Magneto.

"Valkyrie" sidestepped any moral ambiguity and tried to modernize and Americanize a complex situation. It's blatant disregard for who the suicide bomber hero was -- including that he would have been far less heroic and would have opposed Hitler due to his own aristocratic snobbery, among other issues -- evidence that he is far less interested in bringing truth to light and exploring the most pressing issues of our time.

Singer may be smarter than the guys who do Spider Man and Iron Man, but he's no RDM or Ira Steven Behr.

radii said...

Larson loves his original vision. Singer is an excellent visual stylist who likes a sleek look.

I say YES to a total reboot! After the noxious and poisonous season 4 and finale to the RDM version - something, anything would help get that bad taste out of my mouth.

I just make one simple request: No Boxy!

David said...

@radii: yes you are correct - Larson does love his version... Though, it still seems awful close in time to do a total reboot...

J. Yeh said...

- If it's in the RDM universe, are there any open threads left to cover?

- If it's the original Glen Larson universe, then it'd have to be mindblowingly great or else face unfavorable comparisons to the RDM version. I don't think there's a single person out there who honestly believes that the original show was better than the RDM version. (Mind you, I didn't say "like better," just better.

- If it's in its own, new universe, how many version of BSG can there be?

wabbit242 said...

I've heard Justin Timberlake is now attached, too. Perfection, in my book. Anything to further ruin an already staggeringly horrible idea. Glen Larson is such a tool. RDM's version is some of the best sci-fi to emerge since Blade Runner. Going back to the Boxie and Dagget galaxy of cheese is iditoic.

RabidNelson said...

Immediately after the best scifi series of my generation goes off the air is NOT the time to toss it all away and start again. Wait at least 10 years for the love of common sense. Too soon!

Dion said...

This isn't Bryan Singer's first kick at the BSG can.

Go back a couple of years just preceding RDM's reimagining of the BSG universe... Larson, Bryan Singer and Tom Desanto were developing the first Battlestar revival as a pilot for a BSG series for Fox TB. After the 9/11 attacks Fox dropped the project and it eventually ended up in Sci Fi Channel's ballywick. It was to be produced in Vancouver and just as they were beginning to build sets, Singer's involvement was cut short when 20th Century Fox stepped in contractually compelled him and De Santo to begin prep for "X2: X-Men United".

Details on the series' working premise, preproduction concept art, set designs and photos are at:

Andric said...

I don't see how they can just ignore the RDM version of BSG. To do so would be a slap in the face to the fans of the show, not to mention everyone involved in making it.

You don't want to slap Edward James Olmos and Michael Hogan in the face, do you Bryan Singer?

Will said...

Singer is hotter than any of the stars he's had in his movies...I'd like to see him in front of the camera.

And this can only be a good thing. Even if it sucks, it doesn't really damage anything. Look at enterprise...that show blew and a few years later we have this amazing blockbuster reboot.

i'm on board. And apollo should be a gay man.

Anonymous said...

Moore and Eick gave the fans an edgy SciFi show that was more likely to leave you feeling like you’d been punched in the gut instead of with a smile on your face. And you know what, fans loved it! I can pretty much guarantee that if the new BSG comes out I for one will not be checking it out. It seems more like a step backwards and an attempt to cash in on the greatness of Moore’s BSG just as it is wrapping up. That and lets be honest no one would ever be able to compare to Edward James Olmos’ William Adama. If you’re a BSG fan say NO to this recreation. So say we all!

Greg Cotten said...

It would be a HUGE mistake if this was actually made.

Greg Cotten said...

And... I think I might vomit now.

Anonymous said...

This whole thing has the smell of money all over it. I mean, Ron Moore's version ended just a few months ago and we have a prequel of that same universe looming in the first month of next year. I get the impression that they haven't even thought as far as what this will be outside of bearing the Galactica name, so what's the point?

The new series has set a pretty high bar for the story and Larson has nice strokes for his cheesy original, so I think the only avenue open to less criticism is a continuation project. However, with two actors who portrayed pivotal characters dead and the stank of a miserable failure of a sequel still lingering in the air almost 20 years later, I'm not sure how this will go down in terms of continuity and scrutiny by the fanbase.

To me, this is like after the success of The Dark Knight, if someone tried to revive the campy 60s Batman series. Again, I ask: what's the point?

Dion said...

As much as I love what Ron Moore and David Eicj did to reinvent "Battlestar", I'm of the opinion that we shouldn't pre-judge Larson and Singer's project. They have no writer attached as yet and when asked if RDM was a possibility, Singer said ". . . Anything is possible. . ." Aren't we being guilty of what classic BSG fans were when RDM announced his plans?

J. Yeh said...

Legally, Glen Larson holds the motion picture rights to ANY BSG feature. That's why they had to release Pegasus on DVD first. If Larson has given the green light to this, I think it'd be VERY unlikely it's going to be set in the RDM universe.

Anonymous said...

@J. Yeh:
I think you're confused. From what I've been told, Larson holds the film rights, which is why "Razor" had to be air before its DVD release. However, "The Plan" is going to be on DVD before it airs, so I think someone somewhere has misinterpreted something.

However, I'm confident that an RDM extension is a big a no. Larson has held a Consulting Producer credit throughout the show's run (and continues to hold the silent role for Caprica), but never gave any creative input, so why collaborate with Moore at this particular juncture? The same goes for vice-versa; Moore has largely completed his story with only one telefilm left and a prequel series to lay out backstory on the whole thing. Why use Larson to help tap into that vein again? If Moore contributes, I'm sure he's smart enough to keep his finger from the universe he conjured. But that's a big "if". Why would he go back to that so soon?

And as for the question posed about "being guilty of what classic BSG fans were when RDM announced his plans?" Maybe I'm being defensive, but the difference I carry in mind is that the original was already over 20 years old before the relaunch. That's a good buffer period. The new version isn't even cold yet. It just feel icky.

radii said...

Why are so many so skeptical. It used to be the play is the thing, well now it's movies and a good story can be told countless ways. Does anyone really think Singer would be attached if this new film project we going to be anything like the campy 70s original? We might actually get a command deck with a window, but other than that I don't expect to see anyone wearing capes. I, for one, hope the new project uses actors from the RDM version and some of its innovations. A good remix can be better than the original. If Singer were not attached I would be much more skeptical. Singer can do a fine-looking, fast-paced action film.

Dion said...

If SyFy and the writer's strike hadn't delayed season 4 so much, (remember season 3 ended spring of 2007) this new project wouldn't feel so soon after the end of the series. Also bear in mind, without a screenwriter attached yet, Larson, Singer et al are at the *earliest* stages of development. No script is in hand so casting's not done and no pre-production is underway. Likely, they've only negotiated the budget with Universal and more to the point, their individual deals. Release for this movie could be as long as 1 1/2 to 2 years away.

Andric said...

From the Variety article: "It wasn't immediately clear whether Moore would be invited to write the screenplay, but it is clear that Singer will put his own creative stamp on the project as the studio indicates that the film will be 'a complete re-imagination.'"

Doesn't sound promising, Dion. Even a year and a half away, it's still a terrible idea.

madmonq said...

It's more than a little premature for a remake. Or rather a remake of a remake. Leave it to Hollywood to drain the well if they think it'll make money.

Bryan Singer is talented but 3 different versions of the same story in a relatively short time frame is a little ridiculous.

That said...

Ian McClennen would make a great Adama or poss Baltar. He brings the gravitas and required acting chops. And is a good start for casting.

Starbuck should be a gay male. This'll bring the 2 previous versions together and, more importantly, further piss off the conservative whine baby Dirk Benedict. In any incarnation, the character should be a bad a$$ mofo, of course.

While most of the 2003 series was great, I'd like to see is if Mr Singer can redeem it from it's unexpectedly startling, alarmingly, terrifically bad confusing mess of a disaster that was the show's finale. It was horrible. Just horrible.

If so, Remake On!

hamburgular said...

Such a nuisance. As excited as I am about continuing my BSG fangirling it's way too early for a remake, it just makes no sense right now except to try and cash in on the BSG craze before it dies down. But they're already doing that with The Plan and with Caprica, and then to reimagine the ENTIRE series in a movie? That's just, to put it simply - balls.

I vented about this throw a webcomic here:

Who knows what's next in their plan to milk this cash cow (is BSG even a cash cow?)?

D said...

Why bother? The RDM version was such genius that I don't see the point. Other than "The Usual Suspects" I haven't seen what the big deal is about Singer. Personally I liked X3 the most.

Mark Sonntag said...

There is so much more I would rather see, like the saga of THE FIVE, from Kobal to Earth to the Colonies.

LW said...

Yuck, yuck, yuck, yuck. Stop this in its tracks. Kill it, kill it, kill it.

The original BSG was a giant heaping pile of crap. Larson cannot accept that for some strange reason. Let. It. Die.

The Ron Moore version was brilliant and needs no reboot.

Dan and Sharon said...

I own every RDM BSG DVD ever printed.

I was totally up for the RDM BSG mini-series when all of the hardcore fans were poo-poo-ing the mere idea (sound familiar, people?). I loved the mini series and everything that came after.

Reboots don't threaten me.
Reboots don't annoy me.
I don't believe in this false fan notion of "cannon" in any genre.

Every good story teller should have his or her chance at the campfire (like the way humanity has done it for thousands of years).

I will probably go see the new BSG opening night.

If it stinks, that's Brian's fault.

Superman is getting rebooted again because he screwed up, right? So what? That doesn't diminish Superman I and II, does it?

RDM BSG will stand the test of time as the best version of BSG no matter what. Brian may prove that to be true faster than we thought.

Juanxer said...

It's a bit funny how the situation gets reversed and it is now the RDM fans the ones that get all aggressive. I was a fan of TOS when I was a child, I was an evangelist of RDM's version among my relatives and friends, and I'd absolutely love to see Singer's take on TOS or even NuBSG. Singer

(And let's not be that blind here: one thing is that RDM's version was emotionally satisfying, another one to say that it was perfect. Actually, one could feel the writers' desperate moves all too clearly: that, once cornered, they oftentimes produced flashes of brilliance doesn't excuse their failure at achieving an intellectually reasonable resolution)

Caio Almendra said...

We keep talking about the RDM series like it was a big shot, but it was not. It was brilliant, amazingly well written(even though most people don't quite get the fourth season)and graphically impressive, for a tv show. FOR A TV SHOW. In fact, a dark, not really well known Tv show.

First, we should think about nowadays cinema market. Answering Crazy Oakie question, there is one reason they should make a BSG remake: money. This is the same reason they made all those Marvel/DC movies, Speedracer and even GIJoe(!!!). After the internet revolution on media distribution, action movies has to rely on old well-know trademark/stories/franchises to reduces there risk. It is the actual wave on action movie and will be on for a while.

Caio Almendra said...

Now we should think of the Star Trek movie. A BSG movie has exactly the same dilema the producers and director of Star Trek faced, make a blockbuster without disapointing old fans. That is difficult because people has a really hard time open theirs mind for new stuff. That was really necessary on Star Trek, since they have a lot of old fans. That is not very necessary because, let's face it, we, BSG fans, are not that numerous. We are not a big enough, single-minded enough, crowd to fill the theaters. The producers will try to enjoy us, but won't try that hard. And they are right, they already made a last BSG movie. "The Plan" will soon be on and it surely can finish the RDM. And with "finish" I meant "game over", "everything that could be done is done". I hope it will have some scenes of Cylon-Earth, the war and those last small holes. So people, let go. With you enjoy so much, just see it again. Open your mind for new versions of the same story, like the fans of the Original Series have done when the new series debut. Let's face it, RDM series are great but somehow obscure. There are lot of cliche characters and others are so far from cliche that most can't understand. I tried to make my girlfriend like Gaius Baltar, but she couldn't. She liked Starbuck, but soon realize she is like many of characters(in fact, Starbuck vs Apollo is almost the same vibe than Wolverine vs Ciclops). Star Trek found a way to solve that dilema, but it was a trekie way, "diferent universe". That is exactly what BSG fans don't(or shouldn't) want. So rebut is fine.

The film producers will make a movie that doesn't depends on anything else to be enjoyable. It will start from an easy-to follow-start. When I saw Star Trek(and I'm not a fan from the series), the first concern of my girlfriend was "I won't understand anything, cause I never saw the series". I just said to her "neither do I, cause I haven't see it neither". When the film begin I reassured her, "the main character is the unborn baby, everything is fine, we will understand the movie...". That was a really good start point for that movie, the birth of the main character. For a BSG movie, what would be a good start point? Well, what is BSG? What all BSGs products have in commom? The exodus of a close to extinction humanity searching for Earth. That's BSG. That's its essence, its core. So were a film should start to tell this tale? From the reason why they're almost extinct and why they're running. Sure, it can start from a point a little bit earlier than the Mini-series( remeber, the mini-series already start on the last day of the colonies). In fact, I think the film will. It will start some time before the destruction of the colonies. But it will be a a rebut of the stories pictured on the mini series. The destruction of the colonies and the start of the run. Since they will probably leave a open way for a sequel, they won't arrive at kobol or new caprica or earth. It could probably not even have a kobol or new caprica. And THAT'S FINE. Let go the RDM, let's see something new. A movie style, well done, destruction of the 12 colonies story can be a really, really, great movie.

Finally, Juanxer is right. The writes moved the story too abruptly. Some fans of those terribly SciFi shows could say they are "stories arcs". It is a (not that) fancy word for "we didn't think this all from the beginning". Fortunately, the 4 BSGs story arcs, one for each season, were good ones. So the RDM's series were well written. With they thought every story from the begining, and tied then together better, it would be a closer to perfect. A restart offers this possibility. A new beginning gives a new possiblity for a better tied story.

Anonymous said...

What world do we live in where we're remaking remakes?