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Bryan Singer’s ‘Battlestar Galactica’ Gets Airborne With John Orloff Scripting Deal

By MIKE FLEMING | Thursday October 20, 2011 @ 3:35pm EDT
Tags: Battlestar Galactica, Bryan Singer, Glen Larson, John Orloff, Universal Pictures


EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures is closing a deal with John Orloff to write Battlestar Galactica, a feature based on the Glen Larson 1978 TV series that Bryan Singer has long wanted to direct. Orloff seems equally pumped. What is it about Battlestar Galactica that turns grown men into exuberant kids?

“I have wanted to write this movie since I was 12 years old, and built a Galactica model from scratch out of balsa wood, cardboard, old model parts and LEDs,” Orloff told Deadline. “I love BSG, and I would pass on the job rather than frak it up.”

Deal comes after Orloff scripted and exec produced Anonymous, the Roland Emmerich-directed film that Sony Pictures will platform, a drama that takes the position Shakespeare didn’t really write his great works. Orloff also scripted Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole and the Angelina Jolie-starrer A Mighty Heart, and was Emmy nominated for HBO’s Band of Brothers mini. He’s also attached to write Truckers for DreamWorks Animation. He’s repped by CAA.

This finally gets off the ground a movie that Singer has been interested in doing for at least a decade. The fanboy sites have been going warp speed with excitement after Singer indicated that Battlestar Galactica was squarely in his future once Warner Bros killed his Excalibur remake (Deadline told you during the summer Singer’s project and another King Arthur movie Guy Ritchie developed with John Hodge were over when Warner Bros paid $2 million for David Dobkin’s Arthur & Lancelot spec). With Orloff in the fold, Battlestar Galactica can now make progress. Singer tends to wait until these projects are just right, so it remains to be seen how quickly this one goes into production. But getting an A-list writer is surely a good sign. Singer’s currently directing Jack the Giant Killer, the dark revisionist fairy tale for New Line.

The original Battlestar Galactica focused on the last of a space traveling group of humans who survived a lethal surprise attack and, in one remaining warship and a ragtag group of ships, tries to navigate their way to Earth. The series was remade in 2004. Both had a big fan base.


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Replies to This Discussion

This is exciting news. This sounds like the type of remake that I've been waiting for.

A Battlestar Galactica feature film is exciting news indeed!!

However, there's mixed feelings and oppinions regarding this project. Fans on the internet both cheering and jeering - "It's about time!" or "If it ain't broke, why fix it!?"; and on and on go the comments...

We really can't stop the Hollywood Movie Machine. If they want to re-make a movie they will; and, we've seen many remakes of films that were portrayed differently decades ago. [Two 1970's remakes come quick to mind as examples: Death Race and Rollerball (the Rollerball remake flopped... big time!)]. Still, movie moguls will ponder and scratch their heads and chins on whether to give a "Green" on whatever project somebody wants to pursue. Battlestar Galactica was no exception.


Most of us are very familiar with the way BSG was delivered; and, most of us will agree that the stories being broadcast  differed from what was written in the novels (that's the Larson novels and those that followed later). If Brian Singer and John Orloff do it right, they will give us a story being told to an audience the way a War Story would be told, as well as its message of survival.

Take Pearl Harbor, for example. There's two movies out there - "Tora, Tora, Tora!", and the afforementioned tittle motion picture with Ben Affleck, Alec Baldwin, John Voight, John Seizemore, and the rest of the Hollywood "beautiful faces" that were included. Granted, both stories differed in the way they were told (the latter being more of a romanticised tale. It seemed kinda wrong to include a "love triangle" in the middle of a war, though... I think).  There was plenty of action on both, lots of portrayal of "Good guy vs Bad guy"; but, both stories were told differently. The same would apply to this one.

Glen Larson couldn't "cut loose" because of 1970's censorship. Ron Moore and David Eich told the story "their way". This story will be delivered to the silver screen... not as toned down; but, acceptable enough for most audiences to watch. The BSG saga IS dark. Singer and Orloff will probably keep it dark; but, for the sake of keeping it in theaters I don't forsee it gaining an "R" rating. I'm certain that fans have been taken into consideration.

After all, since talk of a BSG revival the fans had been hungry to see something that would pick up where the BSG "really" left off (and not continuing on BSG: 1980). Perhaps this would satisfy a lot of folks' "apetite".

We don't know how much cosmetic change will come - if any - with this production. We don't know if the Galactica will change. Or, for that fact, if the main characters' uniform and garb will change, or if  the Colonial Viper, or the Cylons - their ships included - will change.  I'm sure, though, that characters we're familiar with - such as Adama, Apollo, Starbuck, Boomer, Athena, Cassiopeia, Tigh, Boxey, and others - would remain the same. Otherwise, why bother telling the story. Right!??


A remake is ALWAYS a gamble; and, this story is no exception. Before Moore and Eich released SyFy's BSG I was staunchly opposed. I was going to watch the pilot ONLY and refused to watch the show week after week whenever they decide it to release it!

Well, I took it upon myself to watch it anyhow... and took the story with a "grain of salt". Now, the series has been over for quite some time - you can buy it on DVD and BluRay. BUT... I watched it ; And, I compared, contrasted, scrutinized, discected, dismantled and re-assembled it!!! And... I still liked the original BETTER.

Now, chances are I will do similarly to Singer and Orloff's project once it hits theaters; but... there will probably be a difference (and that's IF these two 'fellahs' paid close attention to the fans). I would expect one, anyway.

There's that old cliche' from a very famous advertisemen: "A sandwich just isn't a sandwich without Miracle Whip". Perhaps Brian Singer and John Orloff are that "Miracle Whip" the story needed for a long time. Then again, not everybody likes Miracle Whip in their sandwhich (some preffer mustard - yellow, golden, spicy-brown, or otherwise); and, not everybody likes sandwiches anyhow.

Let's just see how THIS one really turns out, y'all. Will it be a HIT or a FLOP... that, I don't know! However...! I, for one, plan to go see it!





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