Seriously. Were any of you paying attention back in March when Ron Moore and David Eick's reimagined "Battlestar Galactica" series came to a close on the Sci Fi Channel (now Syfy)? I know Universal was-- after all, they own the property. So what gives with this news that Bryan Singer is officially on board to direct a big screen "Battlestar"? The series ended, and it ended well. There was closure, some minor ambiguity, even a happy ending or two.
And now Singer's going to come in and muck up all of that great work. That's not to say I think he's a bad filmmaker. Granted, "Superman Returns" was underwhelming, but it's hard to knock the guy who gave us a masterpiece like "The Usual Suspects." And he certainly proved he could do blockbusters right with "X2: X-Men United." So why does Singer getting "Battlestar" feel like such a monumentally terrible idea?
As any fan of the Syfy series will agree, the key to the success of Moore & Eick's "BSG" was the concept and the delivery. The duo and their writing team served up a series of stories that were somehow grounded in reality even as the last 50,000 human survivors hurtled through unknown regions of space in search of some mythical planet "Earth."
The show dealt with real issues, current ones like euthanasia, abortion, cultural/ethnic prejudice, terrorism and more, all within the context of humanity on the run from a race of self-aware machines. It never once felt derivative of works with similar themes, such as "Terminator." "Battlestar" under Moore & Eick's watch was smarter than that, constantly challenging viewers to keep up with original plot twists and hard-to-predict developments, all while leaving viewers with some very real messages to ponder.
Singer struck gold with "The Usual Suspects," though that was thanks in large part to writer Christopher McQuarrie -- who is now working on the "Wolverine" sequel -- and his incredible script. Not to mention an ensemble of outstanding performances. As a director, Singer specializes in blockbuster fare. Fans of the rebooted "Battlestar" TV series -- unconventional sci-fi which favored character interactions over action -- they're not after spectacle.
Of course, there may be something to the argument that Moore/Eick's "BSG" lived on Syfy as opposed to a major network because there wasn't a large enough audience for it. The show had its fans, and that base certainly grew over time, but it never really felt like a primetime win to me.
Perhaps a big screen "Battlestar" needs a Singer-type, someone who can strip away some of the smarter bits to make room for good, old-fashioned crowd-pleasing spectacle. Singer hits this project at ground zero, meaning there's still a cast and crew to be hired, including writers.
I know that at least a few fans are hoping for Moore and Eick to be involved in some way, even if the film is just a continuation of their story. I don't think it'll happen, and I also hope it doesn't. The story of William Adama, Laura Roslin, Kara Thrace and all of the rest began and ended on Syfy, and in this fan's opinion, that's how it should remain.