Can Battlestar Galactica Work As a Movie?

The re-imagined Battlestar Galactica series, which debuted in 2003 on the SyFy channel and ran for four seasons, was lauded by critics and fans alike as a smart, sexy, and provocative space opera. It ably weaved sci-fi action with timely political themes.

A film version of the property is now in the works, as reported by Variety:

Universal has brought on “Fifty Shades of Grey” producer Michael De Luca along with Scott Stuber and Dylan Clark for its movie version of the sci-fi franchise “Battlestar Galactica.”

De Luca finalized a three-year first-look deal to produce movies for Universal Pictures last year and is producing the next two “Fifty Shades of Grey” films. Stuber and Clark operate through Bluegrass Films, based at Universal.

Variety reported in April 2014 that original series creator Glen Larson was on board to produce the “Battlestar Galactica” film at Universal with “Transcendence” writer Jack Paglen on board. Larson died later that year.

The looming question is whether a feature film can do the property justice. A big part of what made the SyFy series work was its season long pacing and layered story arcs. A two-hour film doesn’t allow for the same level of character exploration or plot detail. It will be difficult to convey the same sense of exodus and desperate wandering through a cosmic desert to a mythic promised land.