The Cylons are on the march.
Simon Kinberg has signed on to write and produce a big-screen take of Battlestar Galactica, Universal’s long-gestating feature adaptation of its sci-fi franchise.
Kinberg, who was the overarching architect for almost a decade’s worth of X-Men movies, now has a new franchise universe to work with and will be starting from the ground up in telling the tale of humans on faraway planets on the run from a race of intelligent machines bent on wiping them out.
He will join producer Dylan Clark who has long shepherded the project at the studio, which has attracted filmmakers such as Bryan Singer and Francis Lawrence over the years.
“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 was the short-lived but impactful television series created by Glen A. Larson in the post-Star Wars glow that aired in the late 1970s. The conceit was the idea of human colonies on distant galactic shores who fall pretty to destructive machines known as Cylons. The survivors flee on starships, and are led by the Galactica and her heroic crew, try to find a mythic human colony known as Earth.
Characters included the upstanding Commander Adama, his son Apollo, the brash Starbuck, the traitorous Baltar plus Boomer, Athena and Cassiopeia. The humans zipped in fighter ships known as Vipers while the Cylons’ ships were called Raiders.
The show was revived and re-imagined for the post-9-11 world in 2004 as a thought-provoking, politically-charged series that ran to great acclaim on Syfy from 2004 to 2009. A reboot of the show is currently in development with Mr. Robot creator Sam Esmail executive producing.
Universal’s senior vp of production Jay Polidoro and director of development Lexi Barta, will oversee the project on behalf of the studio.
Kinberg is gearing up for the release of The 355, a female-centric spy thriller he co-wrote and directed. The movie, which features Jessica Chastain, Lupita Nyong’o, Penelope Cruz, Diane Kruger and Fan Bingbing, is currently scheduled to be released by Universal on Jan. 15, 2021.
And while he is taking steps to advance as a helmer, he hasn’t forgotten his writing roots. He created and co-wrote the Apple TV+ series Invasion, which is currently in production. He is in the midst of working with director Jason Bateman on his spec script Here Comes The Flood for Netflix and he also is coming off of selling an untitled Idris Elba-starring, Africa-set spy romance project to Apple.
Kinberg is repped by CAA and Jackoway Tyerman.