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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

question of the day: What is Bryan Singer gonna do with ‘Battlestar Galactica’?

Have you heard? Universal has signed Bryan Singer — of Valkyrie, X-Men, and The Usual Suspects fame — to produce and direct a Battlestar Galactica feature film.

I wrote a bit about my thoughts on this prospect yesterday over at Film.com. The gist: I don’t see how this can end up as anything other than a generic space opera, Singer’s talent aside.

Am I wrong? Is there something left to do with BSG that is neither a continuation of Ron Moore’s Sci Fi Channel epic nor a cheap-ish imitation of Star Wars (just like the 1970s TV show was)?

What is Bryan Singer gonna do with Battlestar Galactica?

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTD sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)



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  • I basically agree with the evaluation of the fan base in the Film.com story. It was passionate but not that large. Even if they all go see a Singer BSG film (which I doubt would happen), that would not translate to box office success.

    Personally, unless the film turns out to be a dumbed down big loud action summer movie that draws big crowds because that’s what some people want from their summer movies, I think this film is already doomed.

    I’m sure there’s something more to mine from BSG, only because I think there’s always something more there or another fresh take waiting to be written. (See: Star Trek.) I think it’s rare that someone’s version of a story becomes the Final Word Never to Be Improved On. Unless you’re Shakespeare, maybe.

  • RyanT

    Other than ruin it? Your guess is as good as mine.

  • Michael

    Ooooh, oooh, is it going to be darkerer and edgierier than the show?

  • Hank Graham

    I think what we’ll see will be a repeat of the series. You have to remember that as good as BSG has been, only a very small part of the mass audience has seen it. So if Singer were to basically make a feature version and merely repeat what it’s been doing, it would still be new to many people.

    Obviously, this is just me talking outta my hat and I could be wrong, but presenting old sci-fi memes that the mass audience is unfamiliar with has worked for Lucas, Spielberg, and Cameron, albeit they’ve mostly taken their inspiration from old printed sci-fi, rather than cable tv shows.

    Seen the trailer for “Avator”?

    http://www.facebook.com/ext/share.php?sid=123136271519&h=CcZ2H&u=Js2uw&ref=nf

    In the words of my buddy Doug, we have to see it, if nothing else to see so many science fiction paperback covers brought to life.

  • Brian

    It’s all a setup for a gigantic crossover, see . . .

    The Galactica crew lands on Planet Krypton just before it’s blown to bits . . . but not before they meet a general named Zod, who looks curiously like Dean Stockwell. Then they can all talk to the floaty CG heads of Marlon Brando and Lorne Greene together as they set off in search of Earth.

  • I have no idea, but I have to say I am not thrilled at the prosepects either.

  • My Gods. The show just ENDED, For the Love of Six!

    Are we going to have a new movie for “Two And a Half Men” once the sitcom goes off the air???

    WHERE, I ask you, is the massive groundswell for a Battlestar movie? Everyone I know who was following the series was content with how it ended. This is madness! MADNESS I TELL YOU!

  • Everyone I know who was following the series was content with how it ended.

    Really? I can’t assemble a group of fans greater than three and still have consensus on whether it ended satisfactorily or not.

    But I doubt the ones who don’t think so are clamoring for a sideways-spinoff movie.

  • Mike Dickerson

    I loved RM’s BSG and loved the way he ended it. There is only one thing I want to see, and that would be the Cylon War that Adama fought in as a young man. After that scene in Razor wherein he saw the original Hybrid experiments I thought, sheesh, there’s your spinoff. But then again, that was RM, so I dread what anyone else would do with that story as well.

    I guess the first clues will be when we see who is being cast. If we see any known cylons showing up, for instance. There are endless prequels that could involve Head.Baltar and Head.Six, but again, dread, dread, dread.

  • How about Starbuck as a man?

    I was not a fan of Moore’s version but will admit he got some things right. The mini-series based on the name Battlestar Galactica got a good rating, almost half the audience did not tune in for the series. Moore’s show increasingly used shock value as a gimmick, his serious thought provoking show became a parody of itself. I don’t doubt he laughed as critical acclaim came in season after season but having a few critics tune in is not formula for success. It was a niche TV show. Universal wants a mass appeal summer box office smash. Why is it so hard to believe a middle ground can be met? Riveting sci-fi action, realistic characters people can admire with a well done story. Overly dark and flawed are played out.

  • Depends on which Brian Singer we get. X-Men Singer will rock the shit out of BSG.

    And even as a fan of the new series (and I’m the biggest BSG apologist there is) I am always willing to jump on board some kickass space action. I’m a little trepidatious, especially after Superman, but Valkyrie proved Singer still has the chops to make a thrilling movie out of a story whose ending we already know, so he might be just the guy for a third shot at the BSG mythology.

  • misterb

    (SPOILERS for original BSG ending)
    I think that it will follow on directly from the “real” end of the series. it will be a psychological study of the difficulties of technological man in adjusting to the rigors of prehistoric life. Mostly it will consist of cavemen sitting around a fire and grunting rhythmically. I don’t predict big box office.

  • @PaulW: “Everyone I know who was following the series was content with how it ended.”

    >

    i wasn’t. but then, of course, you don’t actually *know* me.

  • @bronxbee: I remember you! You were in that acting troupe that went around the audience punching people! You hit my girlfriend! You were great…

    When I’m saying ‘content,’ I’m saying that they accept the ending. They do bitch about it, question obvious plot holes, etc. but they accept that it happened, and that for the most part at least it didn’t end with a shameless unexplained Cut to Black like the So………………………

  • Nathan

    The BSG finale was so awful they might as well reboot the whole thing again. I’ll never go back and re-watch any of Moore’s version.

    And as for The Sopranos, Tony is killed in the diner. The cut to black is from Tony’s POV. It’s all in the editing of the final scene and was foreshadowed that entire season. Chase wanted to bring Tony to an end without satisfying the bloodlust of the casual viewer.

  • Ron Moore’s version was a masterpiece. He made us think, he made us use our imaginations to draw our own conclusions. That is what made BSG so great. Human nature always wants things tied up and presented with a little bow on top saying “here you go.” Personally, I loved how it began, continued and ended. My fears are that Singer is going to go forward with his original 2002 plan with Richard hatch and attempt to revive the original show and cast. If so, I predict dismal and EPIC failure. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the original as a kid in the 70’s, I just don’t think there’s a viable way to revisit the mythos in any form but Ron Moore’s mythos.

  • Victor Plenty

    How about Starbuck as a man?

    Seen it.

  • Jim Mann

    The BSG finale was so awful they might as well reboot the whole thing again. I’ll never go back and re-watch any of Moore’s version.

    I think the end was a let down after all the build up, but the series as a whole was good good enough that we started rewatching it a week after it ended (and I’m still listening to the soundtracks).

    Jim

  • Jolly

    Well, let’s ignore Moore’s BSG momentarily and suppose the events happen in contemporary time. Adama and crew are seeking us out, while being followed by an enemy that is vast in number and far ahead of us technologically. What is going to happen when the Colonials get here? The Cylons won’t be far behind.

    That’s where I’d go with the movie. Build off the original series. Get rid of some of the cheese factor. Recast Richard Hatch as Apollo, who, thirty years later, has taken over as admiral of the fleet. The Colonials find modern day earth and everything else moves from there…

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