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Dude, Bryan. Don’t be That Guy.

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Industry | August 12, 2009 |

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Industry | August 12, 2009 |

The big sci-fi news of the day is the rumor that Universal Pictures is trying to get Bryan Singer on board to do a feature film reboot of Battlestar Galactica. That’s right, they want to reboot a franchise that finished its run less than five months ago, a show that still has another televised movie scheduled to air in November, and has a spin off series beginning in early 2010.

Singer isn’t a no talent asshat, so when this project first popped up on the radar eight years ago, a lot of people were really excited at the prospect. Storyboards and concept art were developed, story ideas were bounced around, fanboys exposed themselves in gratitude to their monitors. Then 9/11 happened, and Universal balked at the prospect of a film that opened with a surprise attack wiping out cities. Singer moved on to X-Men 2: Jackman’s Abs Strike Back, a couple of years passed, the project ended up in Ron Moore’s lap, and the rest as they say is frakking history. Why in the world would they reboot it now?

There are so many problems with this that the problems are breeding and raising future generations of little problems.

It’s one thing when you reboot twenty years later and bring in new actors to play characters. William Shatner cannot play a twenty year old Kirk in 2009. Edward James Olmos can still play Adama. Kicking the superb actors of the series to the curb is just pointless and wasteful.

It’s another thing when special effects have come so far since the original. Last time I checked, the special effects of March 2009 are close enough to the special effects of August 2009 just to call it even.

This also isn’t a consequence of rights regressing to a different studio or getting bought up or some such. Universal Pictures owns the rights to both the television series and the film. They are perfectly within their rights to decide there’s a market for this film and just get Ron Moore’s team and the series cast to do it. Hey look, best of both worlds, you get the film, the fanboys are happy, everybody wins.

Projected into real life, here’s how this goes: Ron and Bryan are standing around a barbeque drinking beers with some friends, Bryan says “Hey, I heard this great story from my buddy Glen.” But before he gets two words into it, he just has to hit the fondue fountain. As Bryan wanders off, Ron says “I heard that story too, here’s how it goes.” So Ron builds this epic story, building Glen’s original anecdote into a freaking monument of the spoken word. Bryan wanders back over, sated on fondue, listens as Ron weaves his story. A breathless pause grips their friends after Ron finishes. Bryan belches and declares “Naw bra, it went like this…”

Dude, Bryan. Don’t be that guy.

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Steven Lloyd Wilson is the sci-fi and history editor. You can email him here or follow him on Twitter.