Once one of Hollywood’s hottest directors, Bryan Singer is now all but unemployable thanks to numerous allegations of past horrific behavior. So Battlestar Galactica fans really dodged a bullet when, after decades of trying, Singer failed to take over their franchise.
Bryan Singer, then best known for his work on the X-Men movies and not his inexcusable behavior, embarked on a journey in the late 1990s and early 2000s to create a Battlestar Galactica movie. His vision for the film was to reinvigorate the original 1978 series, infusing it with contemporary themes and cutting-edge visual effects. This project aimed to resonate with both long-time fans and new audiences, offering a unique take on Glen A. Larson’s creation.
The original “Battlestar Galactica,” while a cult classic, was very much a product of its era, reflecting the zeitgeist of the late 1970s. Singer’s proposal in the early 2000s sought to retain the essence of this narrative—the struggle of human survivors against the relentless Cylons—in a context that spoke to the new millennium.
However, the road to realization was fraught with obstacles. In 2001, Singer was set to direct the film, with plans moving forward at a promising pace. But the tragedy of September 11, 2001, led to a shift in priorities and a delay in production. This setback was compounded by Singer’s commitment to other projects, including X2: X-Men United (2003), which further stalled the Battlestar Galactica movie’s progress.
Amidst these delays, the television landscape saw a significant development. In 2003, Ronald D. Moore launched a reimagined Battlestar Galactica miniseries, which expanded into a critically acclaimed series running from 2004 to 2009. Moore’s version, darker and more politically nuanced, resonated deeply with audiences, setting a high benchmark for Singer’s proposed film.
As Moore’s series gained popularity, Singer’s vision for the Battlestar Galactica movie faced increasing scrutiny. Fans and critics alike wondered how his interpretation would differentiate from or complement the existing series. The challenge was to honor the legacy of both the original 1978 series and Moore’s 2000s reboot while crafting a distinct cinematic identity.
Despite these hurdles, Singer remained committed to the project. Throughout the 2000s, he periodically revisited the idea, grappling with script revisions and creative directions.
In 2011, Bryan Singer fully moved forward with his efforts to bring Battlestar Galactica to the silver screen, reigniting excitement among fans. This renewed attempt came two years after the conclusion of Ronald D. Moore’s acclaimed television series, offering an opportune moment to revisit the franchise from a cinematic perspective.
Singer teamed up with screenwriter John Orloff, known for his work on Band of Brothers and A Mighty Heart, to develop a script that would capture the essence of the original series while introducing new elements. This period marked a significant step forward in the project, with Singer and Orloff envisioning a film that was not just a continuation of the existing Battlestar Galactica narratives but a reimagining that could stand on its own.
However, despite this progress and the buzz it generated among the fanbase, the project once again encountered obstacles. Creative differences, competing visions, and the daunting task of living up to the legacy of both the original series and Moore’s reboot contributed to the project’s eventual stagnation. The 2011 attempt, much like its predecessors, illustrated the challenges of adapting a beloved franchise into a new medium while satisfying the expectations of a diverse and passionate fanbase.
It was in 2014 that Singer first began to face allegations of sexual assault and misconduct. From that point on, anything he was working on, was dead. That left Bryan Singer’s Battlestar Galactica movie unrealized. Thankfully, BSG fans were saved from having their franchise tainted by his mistakes.