‘Battlestar Galactica’ Movie Gets ‘Transcendence’ Writer Jack Paglen

Published 9 months ago by , Updated April 15th, 2014 at 11:18 am,

battlestar galactica logo Battlestar Galactica Movie Gets Transcendence Writer Jack Paglen

With all the criticism surrounding remakes and reboots these days (like the recent drama about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), sometimes it’s hard to remember there are quite a few new takes on old material that turn out to be successful. For instance, Christopher Nolan brought new life to Batman in three hugely popular films, and Amazing Spider-Man and Man of Steel each did very well at the box office, even if both films had their share of detractors.

Television is the same, too. A remake of British series The Office became one of NBC’s most beloved of all time, and CBS’ Hawaii Five-0 has some of the highest ratings on TV each week. While transitioning a reboot from TV to film may be a bit more difficult, both Star Trek and 21 Jump Street have managed to reestablish themselves for a whole new audience on the big screen. Now there’s another TV series hoping to make that same jump.

Variety reports that Universal is working with Transcendence writer Jack Paglen (who is also penning the Prometheus sequel for production this fall) to adapt a movie version of their Battlestar Galactica franchise. As with the 2003 reboot series, original creator Glen Larson will produce the new film. Bryan Singer was previously supposed to direct a film version, but he’s not mentioned in these new developments.

Battlestar Galactica Movie Gets Transcendence Writer Battlestar Galactica Movie Gets Transcendence Writer Jack Paglen

Battlestar Galactica first became a series during the 1978-1979 season with stars Lorne Greene, Richard Hatch and Dirk Benedict playing part of the last remnants of humanity searching for Earth while in a war against a cybernetic race known as the Cylons. Star Trek writer Ron Moore then gave the franchise new life in 2003 when he created a reboot for Sci-Fi starring Edward James Olmos and Mary McDonnell.

Both Battlestar Galactica series maintained the same premise, yet differed widely in tone and theme. Moore’s newer series took on deeper aspects like politics and religion, preferring to create a more thought-provoking series for a new age. This new film is said to be yet another complete reimagining of the original story, so there’s no telling what we can expect. But if Transcendence and the Prometheus sequel are anything to go by, this version will probably also include a darker tone.

Still, it may be too early for audiences to wrap their heads around another Battlestar Galactica reboot, since Moore’s version has only been off the air for just five years, and its prequels, Caprica and Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome, even less than that. Some fans may still be eager for more in the universe, but it’s hard to see what else can be done that the other series didn’t. Fortunately, the premise easily lends itself to either a television or movie format.

So what say you, Screen Rant readers? Could Paglen get the material right just like Ron Moore before him? Do you want to see another reboot so soon after the TV show ended? Let us know in the comments.

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The Battlestar Galactica movie does not yet have a release date.

Source: Variety

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TAGS: battlestar galactica

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  1. This makes sense, if one is looking for a big-name, known-quantity sci-fi franchise that is available to turn into a film. I’m on board. I’d kind of hope that it wasn’t quite as dark as the series (I usually don’t say that, but in this case…), and maybe included aliens, just for a change of pace. But in any event, this seems exciting.

    • I’m of two minds on aliens. On one hand they were in the original show. On the other hand the new show didn’t and used the absence for great effect. Space felt empty.

  2. I’d be on board for it. I’d be happy with the same tone as the series but like J83 says include some other races for some variety just dont go down the route of making it a Star Wars/Star Trek clone. Battlestar may have been inspired by them at one point but it holds its own now

  3. Let me guess, they’re going to star Tom Cruise?

  4. Tha group photo pays tribute to the ‘The Last Supper’

    • Well, I can see where you got your name from.

      • +1

  5. I seem to remember this being based on the original series and not the reboot.

  6. Whats the point? Battlestar Galactica is the same age as me, the reboot series was horrible and I am sure this movie will suck worse than the turtles reboot….. The Last Starfighter, now that has legs…. This, none.

    • While I’m worried about a big-screen interpretation, your comment on the reimagining couldn’t be more off. It was superior to the original in every conceivable way. The original, while enjoyable, was upbeat & campy in spite of the subject matter (end of humanity). The reimagining was dark, serious, and felt like you really might just lose everything.

      • Interest is what I lost after the first series, which is where the reboot started to get lost up its own ass.

    • The original series got cheesy plots as: “Unfortunately, the audience at which ABC targeted the show was largely juvenile, so it was only a matter of time before the series chose to focus on lighter material. One episode features Ray Bolger, famous for his role as the Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz. Entitled “Greetings From Earth,” Bolger plays a robot who shares a Laurel & Hardy relationship with his mechanical “son.”

      http://www.tvparty.com/70battlestar.html

  7. Personally I think it is way too soon for a reboot of this. I am a fan of both the original series and the new reboot series and if they feel that they can get something out of a film franchise, I think they should do it as additions to the new series, like Blood and Chrome. Even though the series brought things to a conclusion, there are still lots of stories they could tell.
    I am disappointed that they want to “reboot” this.
    And although my opinion of the reboot series disagrees with ChrisTyper’s opinion, I do agree with the idea of a remake of The Last Starfighter. I think that has a lot of possibilities. I liked the original but with updated technology, they could make an even better movie of that.

    • I strongly agree. What’s the rush in making a ‘reboot’ these days? Moore’s BSG universe is extremely rich. They can make another series, another prequel series, another tv movie… I’d love to see that more than to see a reboot.

  8. I am excited for any series reboot of this franchise. I only got into the series a couple of years of ago. I enjoyed a nice month long binge on all the seasons.

    If they make it darker, I could see that working! I hope they keep Starbuck a women!

  9. All of this has happened before, and all of this will happen again!

    Ron Moore’s BSG is far and away my favourite TV series, it will be difficult for any reboot to live up to it and my expectations. It should also be remembered that as cool as Blood & Chrome was it failed in it’s stated intent, to launch a prequel series around the first Cylon war with Bill Adama as a Viper pilot.

    If it happens, I hope they stay clear of aliens, most sentient aliens in Hollywood tend to be distinctly human, something I don’t like at all. It would also be interesting if they re cast some of the actors from the previous series, I loved how Richard Hatch was Apollo in the 70′s and terrorist/politician Tom Zarek in the 00′s.

    • I thought B&C could have worked if they even attempted any advertising for it. They tried to make it work using a viral campaign, and it failed miserably. I personally loved it

    • Remember that guy who played Bill Adama in Razor? Nico Cortez. I thought he was perfect as young Adama. He looked like his son, and he had that Edward James Olmos kind of face.

  10. Personally, I loved the reboot series – even though I still haven’t decided if the series finale was a good fit. Movie version, forget the 2nd half of the fourth reboot season and start from there. Or, I like the idea of expanding on the Blood & Chrome series. Same universe and familiar characters.

  11. I have much love for BSG. I grew up with the original series as a kid. BUT another series growing up needs some reboot love and that is Buck Rogers. Can we please get a Buck Rogers film? Please?

    • Would make more sense. At least Buck Rogers has never received an amazing TV show that doesn’t need to be rebooted anytime soon.

  12. I’ve been waiting for this one for a long time, with the right team this should be great.

  13. The reboot series had good production quality, acting, and writing. Why is a movie necessary? The only thing it will do is remove the series format, which is one of the strongest things about the reboot series.

    You cannot capture that awesomeness in less than 10 hours. Even that’s a stretch.

    • I expect it will end up as a trilogy. First film shows the destruction of the 12 Colonies, 2nd film shows them on the run from the Cylons and deciding on Earth and the 3rd film finding it.

      • That would work but I think this will be 1 and done, regardless of where they leave the story at the end of the film.

    • The show was mostly great, up until the end. A big budget film could be so much more.

  14. But the best parts of the show relied on the fact that there were so many episodes. Each season will take at least 2 movies if they cram it.

  15. I loved both series. The kid in me was made for the original. The New version was very well done and took so many risks. Another take could be a slam-bang adventure that takes from both versions. I am not sure about aliens but another take on the Cylons would be cool.

  16. Makes 0 sense. The last series was too perfect. All that will happen is the movie will cost a ton, and they will under-perform from the series. How can you hope to do a 2 hour film that somehow reaches the heights of one of the best dramatic series in history?

  17. Do we need to wait for Godzilla to come out before we announce another reboot? Let’s go ahead and just recast all of the films that are currently in production so we can air a reboot 6 months after they hit films. Pathetic.

  18. I was a fan of Battlestar Gallactica in both incarnations. Although, the reboot was the far superior series (but the series finale has MAJOR flaws). The question is: Is there a new take that can be as engaging and entertaining rather than just exploit the franchise?

  19. I’m on board. As long as there are no more high heels on the women.

  20. Nah nah. Moore’s Battlestar Galactica was too heavy and too depressing to watch, but that’s just me.

    I’ll be watching something that has more balanced approach without it getting too heavy or too campy. The Last Starfighter definitely needs to be rebooted or at least pick up where they left off with the new threat or something.

  21. If the movie is going to be like the series, I’ll give it wide berth.
    That series was so BORING!! All politics and religion. Bring back the old Cylons and ACTION.
    I can’t believe I waded through the entire sleep inducing series just to pick holes in the final episode.
    And Caprica was jsut as bad.

  22. This is a waste of time. The series is so good because Ron Moore is a political science major and a genius writer.

    No one from the series is in this. The actors in BSG were incredible. Who wants imitation cheese?

    Just watch the series on Netflix. How are they going to take four years of excellence and put it in some 90 minute remake?

    Hollywood has no imagination. It’s all remakes. Recycled stories that are already good as they stand.

    I don’t believe I will be buying a ticket for this. I got my real BSG family on Netflix.

  23. Ronald D Moore and David Eick left the door open for multiple reimaginings when they included this in the series:

    “All this has happened before, and all this will happen again”.

  24. I, like many others, wished for another Caprica, and still do, and would do anything to find out more about V-World.

  25. Both series were good in their own right. I watched the original when I was younger. I watched the remake when I was older. The remake, for me, was satisfyingly good to watch – a feel-good, space drama i would watch while eating a big piece of steak.

    A big budget movie of two or three Hours ain’t gonna tell us a good story of the human condition. It would be just a CG spectacle, quick cuts, fancy music, big stars, and maybe a sequel or two.

    Remember Prometheus? Yeah what the frak was that all about huh? I can’t even remember the protagonist’s name. I know Parker, Kane, Brett, Dallas, Lambert, Ash, and Ripley. Prometheus? Nah.

    Frak this.

    • So Say We All!

    • So say we all.

    • So say we all…

  26. I wrote the concept screenwriter Jack Paglen used for writing the scenario of the film “Transcendence”; unbeknown to me until the day I watched this film, actually.
    I’m a French sci-fi author, and I made edited the story of Transcendence in May 2011 under the title “C.A.S.P.E.R.” (it is still available on any Amazon website, in French language). Although Mr Jack Paglen missed to tell me that he was interested in my story, he didn’t bother changing much of it since he took even the same name for the avatar of the super-computer but for a single letter, his “Caster” against my “Casper”. He, or director Wally Pfister perhaps, added some absurd action scenes to my story. I must also notice that he inverted the chronology for some subplots I wrote, and that he added some metaphysical considerations about nature to the whole thing which are not in my story, and which bear little relevance with the theme of such a story anyway. “C.A.S.P.E.R.”, my novel, was about the possible consequences of an artificial intelligence accidentally spreading on the worldwide Internet network, then taking the world over with it and nothing else. That’s mainly for all these reasons that the scenario of “Transcendence” collected rather dissatisfied reviews in my opinion. As a matter of fact, when reconsidering what Mr Jack Paglen did with my story, it leaves me with the felling that it was done in a hurry. The ingredients he added to it make no sense, and it makes it absurd and inconsistent. But I was only half surprised when I learned that Mr Paglen had no previous experience in sci-fi writing, and, for wants of it, a previous movie career as actor with some little roles in a handful of films.
    Let me explain.
    Mr Jack Paglen introduced a few fantasies of his own in “C.A.S.P.E.R.”. Quite on the contrary, the plot and everything else in the story I wrote are entirely based upon true scientific facts of today. There are no such things as evolution in nanotechnology and the dream of copying human soul to make it a computer program in my book. Indeed, I wrote an introduction to this novel about the dream of scientists to make AI computer programs as omniscient and omnipotent as God. But Mr Paglen took that too anyways, and it is featured under the form of a recurrent Will Caster’s statement in “Transcendence”. The chronology of “C.A.S.P.E.R.” is a bit different when compared to “Transcendence”, since the scientist who created the AI program “Casper” in my novel is shot dead by an activist toward the end of the plot in the book, and not in the beginning. As in my book, a young activist attempts to kill the scientist who created the supercomputer, but he fails to do so ultimately. Here again, Mr Jack Paglen introduced this subplot at the beginning of his scenario while I did it at toward the end of my story. As in my book, the F.B.I. is investigating all along on the problem of an artificial intelligence that is pervading the world network and that is taking control of it progressively. As in my book, the F.B.I. is working actively with computer scientists in the aims of shutting it down. As in my book, the conspiring artificial intelligence settles in a little and forgotten American town where it brings good and prosperity. Exactly the same in my book at the same time of the story, excepted that I chose the real little town of Southbridge MA in mine. As in my book, the artificial intelligence in “Transcendence” is aiming at doing good for the humanity, and it is sincerely convinced that it is spirited by a divine mission while, in effect, things do not turn out as expected. My story starts with the subplot of computer hackers attempting to penetrate the AI computer program, thus sabotaging it unintentionally. Mr Paglen took the same idea at about the same time in his interpretation of my story, but he makes the sabotage intentional. There is the subplot of a romance between the “Will Caster” of Mr Paglen and his wife; exactly as there is one between the human avatar of my novel and his wife, to which I gave the same importance. In my novel, the last scene that concludes the story is the shutdown of Internet, telephone network and electricity in New York City as in the whole world. Mr Paglen did exactly and graphically the same without naming the looking-like big city; but he added some metaphysical and useless minutes to it, perhaps in order to make the ending appearing as different of my story. Mr Paglen did a step ahead of my story in his scenario in inventing a processor based on nanotechnology. In order to make mine as realistic as possible, the processors of the supercomputer in my story are an evolution of the actual microprocessors of the super-calculator “Watson”, built by IBM. I introduced Christian religion in my story in order to make an obvious parallel with artificial intelligence and a ghostly and elusive computer program and God (that’s the real “why” of the name “Casper”). Mr Paglen didn’t use any of this. But, as such a story becomes purposeless without it, he found the idea of changing it with the other subject of nanotechnology – although he kept my idea of making his Caster believing he’s is God, as my Casper does.

    I let you know that it is none of my intention to let this case for plagiarism going dead; at least because my problem now is that anyone could say that my novel “is a copycat of Transcendence”, quite ironically. Fortunately, the copyright and ISBN number (978-1461143451) of my story have been officially registered one year ahead of Mr Paglen’s scenario. Beside, Mr Paglen added depreciating cosmetics and fancies to my story, which make it worthless now.

    Thank you for reading me.