Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures is closing a deal with John Orloff to write Battlestar Galactica, a feature based on the Glen Larson 1978 TV series that Bryan Singer has long wanted to direct. Orloff seems equally pumped. What is it about Battlestar Galactica that turns grown men into exuberant kids?

“I have wanted to write this movie since I was 12 years old, and built a Galactica model from scratch out of balsa wood, cardboard, old model parts and LEDs,” Orloff told Deadline. “I love BSG, and I would pass on the job rather than frak it up.”

Deal comes after Orloff scripted and exec produced Anonymous, the Roland Emmerich-directed film that Sony Pictures will platform, a drama that takes the position Shakespeare didn’t really write his great works. Orloff also scripted Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole and the Angelina Jolie-starrer A Mighty Heart, and was Emmy nominated for HBO’s Band of Brothers mini. He’s also attached to write Truckers for DreamWorks Animation. He’s repped by CAA.

This finally gets off the ground a movie that Singer has been interested in doing for at least a decade. The fanboy sites have been going warp speed with excitement after Singer indicated that Battlestar Galactica was squarely in his future once Warner Bros killed his Excalibur remake (Deadline told you during the summer Singer’s project and another King Arthur movie Guy Ritchie developed with John Hodge were over when Warner Bros paid $2 million for David Dobkin’s Arthur & Lancelot spec). With Orloff in the fold, Battlestar Galactica can now make progress. Singer tends to wait until these projects are just right, so it remains to be seen how quickly this one goes into production. But getting an A-list writer is surely a good sign. Singer’s currently directing Jack the Giant Killer, the dark revisionist fairy tale for New Line.

The original Battlestar Galactica focused on the last of a space traveling group of humans who survived a lethal surprise attack and, in one remaining warship and a ragtag group of ships, tries to navigate their way to Earth. The series was remade in 2004. Both had a big fan base.

 

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