General News

Bryan Singer’s Mission: “Battlestar Galactica”

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Aug 15, 2001 | 10:35am EDT

HOLLYWOOD, Feb. 22, 2001 - One of the '70s' most influential spectaculars is coming back in a big way.

Reuters has revealed that Bryan Singer, who scored a hit as the director of last year’s blockbuster “X-Men,” is going to be bringing the fan favorite series “Battlestar Galactica” back to television. Singer, who recently signed on to direct “X-Men 2,” will executive produce the pilot for the new series along with Tom DeSanto, and if the shooting schedule for “X-Men 2” permits, he’ll direct the series pilot, as well. As of yet, no network has been picked to air the pilot.

“Battlestar Galactica,” which called on "Star Wars” for inspiration, aired on ABC from 1978-1980. While never a big hit, the series has become a cult favorite and a sci-fi convention regular.

David Kissinger, the president of USA Television Production Group, which is producing the new series, told Reuters: “I never dreamed a filmmaker of Bryan's stature would be enough of a hard-core fan that he saw this as a franchise that could be reinvented. In the initial meeting, I was wary that he might be just another feature guy looking to slap his name on a TV project, but it was immediately clear this wasn't so. He's got a whole mythology and arc for the series already worked out.”

The original series, which was budgeted at $1 million per episode, was the highest budgeted drama of its time. As to the production of the new series, Kissinger says: “We'll shop it right away with the goal of having it in a prime-time slot on a network, but it's possible that we might be able to do a dual window scenario with the SciFi Channel."

He went on to say: "With Bryan's vision and a brand name which has international appeal, we're optimistic we'll be able to make it on the grand scale he imagines. The visual imagery he's talking about is unprecedented in its effects and scope.”

Director Singer says of “Battlestar”: “The lesson I learned on ‘X-Men’ is to have a healthy respect for the fan base of sci-fi fantasy franchises, and I'm confident that the ‘Galactica’ brand is a sleeping giant. It was a show I watched during its initial run, from the pilot to the final episode. The essence and the brand name is quite potent in a climate where there's a great deficit of sci-fi programming.”

As for “X-Men 2,” Singer is aiming for a potential holiday 2002 premiere.

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