Fresh from shepherding the “X-Men” franchise for over a decade, Simon Kinberg has signed on to write and produce Universal’s feature adaptation of the sci-fi franchise “Battlestar Galactica,” Variety has confirmed.
Kinberg is joining producer Dylan Clark (“The Batman,” “War for the Planet of the Apes”), who has long overseen development on a “BSG” movie for the studio. While Kinberg has also branched out into directing with 2019’s “X-Men” feature “Dark Phoenix” and 2021’s spy thriller “The 355,” he is not looking to direct this project.
“‘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,” Kinberg said in a statement. “I’m so grateful that Dylan and my partners at Universal have trusted me with this incredible universe.”
The “BSG” franchise has passed through many hands since it first launched as a live-action TV series for ABC in 1978. Seen at the time as a blatant “Star Wars” rip-off, “BSG” has grown into wide esteem in its own right after the acclaimed basic cable reboot of the series in the 2000s, starring Edward James Olmos, Mary McDonnell and Katee Sackhoff. Both shows followed a fleet of human starships, let by the Galactica, as they flee a race of genocidal robots called the Cylons and seek to find a mythical planet called Earth.
The feature film version of “BSG” is not connected to plans for a new “Battlestar Galactica” TV series currently in development for NBCUniversal’s streaming service Peacock by executive producer Sam Esmail (“Mr. Robot”).
Kinberg intends to start from scratch with his script for the feature, which has been in development for years. Lisa Joy (HBO’s “Westworld”) and Jack Paglen (“Transcendence”) recently took passes at a screenplay, and Kinberg’s old “X-Men” colleague Bryan Singer was attached to direct as early as 2009.
“The 355” — which Kinberg also co-wrote and which stars Jessica Chastain, Lupita Nyong’o, Penelope Cruz, Diane Kruger and Fan Bingbing — is scheduled to debut on Jan. 15, 2021.
More from Variety
Best of Variety