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Universal has found a new writer for its ‘Battlestar Galactica’ film

Battlestar Galactica Cylon
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Universal Pictures’ upcoming Battlestar Galactica feature film has found another key crew member. The studio has recruited Jay Basu to rewrite a script from Westworld co-creator and Burn Notice scribe Lisa Joy, bringing the long-gestating project one step closer to the big screen.

The movie will be a “reimagining” of Glen A. Larson’s original 1970s television series, The Wrap reports, and not a sequel to or a remake of Ronald D. Moore’s mid-’00s reboot series. Francis Lawrence, the man behind I Am Legend, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, and the Jennifer Lawrence spy thriller Red Sparrow is on tap to direct.

Basu’s other credits include Lisbeth Salander’s latest adventure, The Girl in the Spider’s Web, Elizabeth Banks’ upcoming Charlie’s Angels remake, and a Labyrinth spin-off that will continue the story that began in Jim Henson’s 1986 fantasy flick.

Universal Pictures has been trying to get a Battlestar Galactica film off of the ground since at least 2011 when director Bryan Singer and writer Jon Orloff announced that they’d be steering the reboot. Neither individual seems to be attached to the film’s most current iteration.

Battlestar Galactica first hit the airwaves in 1978, as Larson, Universal Television, and ABC tried to capitalize on the growing Star Wars craze. The show focused on the crew of the eponymous starship as it led the last remnants of humanity through space on a quest to escape the murderous robots known as the Cylons and find Earth, mankind’s mythical homeworld.

While Battlestar Galactica launched to respectable ratings and went on to become a cult favorite, it came with a high price tag — episodes reportedly cost $1 million each to produce, over twice as much as the average television episode at the time — and quickly fell victim to CBS’ popular comedy All in the Family, which aired against it. ABC canceled Battlestar Galactica after a single season, while 20th Century Fox sued Universal over Battlestar‘s similarities to Star Wars, which came out roughly a year earlier (the case was ultimately settled out of court). A sequel series, Galactica 1980, lasted a mere 10 episodes.

Moore’s take on the property fared better. Starting with a three-hour miniseries that aired on the Sci-Fi Channel (now known as Syfy) in 2003, the revitalized Battlestar Galactica lasted for four seasons. While die-hard fans initially resisted Moore’s changes to the original source material, the show went on to become a critical hit, launching a franchise that included the prequel series Caprica and the web series Blood & Chrome — not to mention of the most controversial series finales of all time.

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Chris Gates
Christopher Gates lives in Los Angeles, CA and writes about movies, TV, video games, and other pop culture curiosities. In…
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