Simon Kinberg has signed on to write and produce Battlestar Galactica, Universal’s long-gestating feature adaptation of its sci-fi TV franchise.
Kinberg was the main mastermind behind almost ten years of X-Men movies. He will be joining producer Dylan Clark on the project. Clark has been pushing the project through the Universal Studios production offices for years. The new re-re-reboot will be starting over from scratch, telling the story of humans on farflung worlds running from a race of intelligent machines bent on erasing them from existence.
“Battlestar Galactica is one of the holy grails in science fiction, and I couldn’t be more excited about bringing something new to the franchise, while honoring what’s made it so iconic and enduring,” said Kinberg in a statement. “I’m so grateful that Dylan and my partners at Universal have trusted me with this incredible universe.”
Galactica made its first appearance in 1978, just a year after the debut of Star Wars. Created by Glen A. Larson, it was the subject of law suit between Lucasfilm and Universal. Lucasfilm asserted that there were some 34 similarities between the two productions, and they had a few good points. The similarities were fueled in part by the fact that both Star Wars effects wizard John Dykstra and Star Wars production designer Ralph McQuarrie were working on Galactica after each having had a falling out with Lucasfilm. The lawsuit lasted longer than the series, and never actually saw the inside of a courtroom.
Battlestar Galactica was rebooted in 2003, with Gary Hutzel of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine fame handling the effects. The show was developed by Ronald D. Moore and executive produced by Moore and David Eick as a re-imagining of the 1978 Battlestar Galactica television series created by Glen A. Larson. The pilot for the series first aired as a three-hour miniseries (comprising four broadcast hours in two parts) in December 2003 on the Sci-Fi Channel, which was then followed by four regular seasons, ending its run on March 20, 2009. A sort of same-universe not-a-reboot production is currently in development for NBCUniversal’s streaming service Peacock, with Mr. Robot creator Sam Esmail executive producing.
Kinberg does have science fiction writing chops. He created and co-wrote the Apple TV+ series Invasion, which is currently in production. He is also working with director Jason Bateman on his spec script Here Comes the Flood for Netflix and recently sold an untitled Idris Elba-starring, Africa-set spy romance project to Apple.