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Universal is rebooting Battlestar Galactica

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Published: April 7, 2014 at 9:27 PM

Okay, this is movie news, and not (yet, at least) specific to theme parks, but Variety reports that Universal is rebooting Battlestar Galactica with a new movie.

Universal has built Battlestar Galactica-themed attractions twice before, with an animatronic laser battle show on the tram tour at Universal Studios Hollywood, and, more recently, dueling Vekoma roller coasters at Universal Studios Singapore.

Battlestar Galactica at Universal Studios Singapore

The Hollywood show ran during the 1980s and closed in 1992 to make room for the Back to the Future/Simpsons Ride building. The Singapore coasters closed last year, reportedly due to ongoing mechanical issues. But both attractions enjoyed substantial popularity during their runs.

Battlestar Galactica has proven itself an enduring franchise, spawning an acclaimed four-season reboot on the Sci Fi Channel. Could a successful Battlestar Galactica feature film help create demand for a new BSG attraction at a Universal Studios theme park? What would you like to see, and where?

Readers' Opinions

From James Trexen on April 7, 2014 at 10:18 PM
And here I thought that the coaster was getting rebooted. What is it with Universal and dueling coasters?

*sigh*

As for here in the US, the fan base may be devoted, but I am fairly certain it is small, almost to the point where we'll never see an attraction. Heck, even the last Star Trek movie had an underwhelming performance and that has a way higher following.

From Robert Niles on April 7, 2014 at 10:37 PM
The advantage, for Universal, to BSG over ST is that Universal owns this franchise. It's relatively rare for Universal to actually own the IP it uses in its theme parks, as opposed to licensing it. That changes the economics a bit.
From Duncan Henny on April 8, 2014 at 12:19 AM
i wonder if they can get permission to do anything with the new Goonies sequel or the Gremlins Reboot that is coming
From O T on April 8, 2014 at 1:00 AM
I liked the original BG but the tv show went with the casino planet from silly to sillier in a heartbeat.
The reboot on the other hand was a masterpiece and is in my humble opinion the best television has produced. The story is intelligent, the acting and writhing are great.
The reboot movie? Not sure about that. Why didn't the latest Star Trek didn't do well? It was more Star Wars (sci-fi action kitsch) then Star Trek (slower passed intelligent story).
So it depends, will BG be a 2 hour space battle or an intelligent story about creating AI and taking responsibility over you creation? After the amazing series I not really want to know.
From Rob Pastor on April 8, 2014 at 6:12 AM
Nothing there that I would get excited about. That would be a real waste for a land. I doubt it would be something that would attract a regular tourist to a Universal vacation, unlike Potter, Simpsons, Transformers or Kong.
From 166.147.104.149 on April 8, 2014 at 6:47 AM
Tear down Hollywood Rip Ride and Rocket and put in a B&M roller coaster themed after Battlestar gallactica
From Robert Niles on April 8, 2014 at 6:49 AM
Aaaaand we have a winner!
From Anon Mouse on April 8, 2014 at 7:36 AM
The roller coaster has no resemblance to the original or reboot of BG. I don't have any interest of the series. I actually loved the original Battlestar Galactica. You have to remember that the main reason I loved it is because it is a television series that I can see it as much as I want on free television. It was the only sci-fi series that is considered competition to the original Star Wars. Is it any coincidence of timing?

I should be considered a likely fan of the previous reboot, but I hated it. I felt it wasn't very good in the sense that I resembled the original series. It didn't feature Richard Hatch, which I thought was a slap in the face. Richard Hatch, who played Apollo in the original series, kept the dream alive and he was overlooked in the reboot.

The reboot was done in a very long and drawn out method. It was high on strategy and short on action. Perhaps Battlestar Galactica is a one trick pony. There isn't much more to do with the premise. They had to invent a sexy human-like Cylone, who naturally found humans to be perplexing, yet they should survive. Thanks a lot.

From Russell Meyer on April 8, 2014 at 8:06 AM
I'm a HUGE BSG fan, both of the original series and the recent SyFy reboot. However, I doubt the franchise's broad appeal for a successful major motion picture or major theme US theme park attraction. The original series got caught up in the sci-fi camp of the late 70's and early 80's, and laid dormant for over 20 years before a former Star Trek writer/producer (Ron Moore) re-envisioned the franchise. What many people don't remember about the relaunch of BSG was that the pilot debuted on NBC, and was deemed unworthy of a network time slot for the subsequent series. The series was relegated to cable, and while it performed admirably, it was hardly the ratings juggernaut of recent cable darlings like "Breaking Bad", "Mad Men", "Walking Dead", or even "Sons of Anarchy".

The bottom line is that we're looking at a miniscule fanbase that does lure fans from other sci-fi properties like "Star Wars" and "Star Trek". Any attempt Universal would make to adapt BSG to an American theme park would be crushed by Disney's upcoming Star Wars expansion.

Also, call me skeptical, but while Glen Larson is involved in this BSG reboot movie, I'm not holding my breath for it (he had been pitching a movie ever since the original series was cancelled in the early 80's), and the fact that Ron Moore or Jane Espenson (co-producer and showrunner for Caprica) are not connected with this project, I'm not terribly excited.

From Russell Meyer on April 8, 2014 at 8:11 AM
Anon Mouse---Richard Hatch was featured in the BGS reboot series, and actually plays a very important character (Tom Zarek) who lasts through until the end of the series' run. I'm sorry, but there was no way they were going to have him play Apollo in a reboot. The biggest controversy was surrounding the gender switch of Starbuck, which turned out to be a brilliant move because of the "Mulder/Scully-like" tension that was created between Jamie Bamber and Katee Sackhoff.
From James Rao on April 8, 2014 at 9:11 AM
I loved the rebooted mini series of BSG as well as the first, oh, 2.5 seasons of the Syfy (I hate that name) show. However, after the writers decided to perform a major Star Trek DS9 style "reset" (curse you and your Star Trek ways, Ronald Moore), BSG suffered a slow and painful demise, going from a Babylon 5 epic to a turgid soap opera in space. At that point, the show was just very fracking painful to watch. I believe I gave up on the show right about the end of the third season when (spoilers?) Apollo, in a painfully obvious "twist", became President. I remember thinking how great that episode would have been if Romo Lampkin, instead of blathering on endlessly about nothing (with a dead cat in his duffel bag, no less), had gone on a shooting rampage killing every major character on the show (and some of the minor one's too), then jettisoned himself out of the airlock. It would have been a brilliant way to resurrect a dying series. And I would not have questioned the number of bullets fired out of Lampkin's four shot Stallion pistol, nor the absolute impossibility of the slaughter. I would have just celebrated the demise of so many once great, turned god awful, characters, not to mention the potential ending of Ronald's Moore's career in television (sadly, he returned with an equally bad show, Helix, earlier this year).

At any rate, I think BSG is a great property in the right hands - and would love to see more. But I don't want Ronald "I Killed BSG" Moore anywhere near the project. The best thing Universal could do is let the folks at Disney who make the Marvel movies resurrect this franchise, as their track record is quite astonishing.

Is Joss Whedon available for the reboot?

From Russell Meyer on April 8, 2014 at 9:15 AM
Wow...I know some people were fuming at the finale, but had never read a fan that jumped ship in season 3. I did find the whole "Final 5" plotline dragging (particularly the last one revealed, which was about as predictable and unimaginative as possible) to the last 2 seasons, but the writing and acting was still very strong.

I was with you on Helix until about halfway through the season. The series really picked up about episode 8, and pushed hard to the season finale. I'm not sure where they're going to go next season, but it's holding promise, unlike Defiance, which I'm giving 4 episodes this season before jumping ship.

It's clear we have very different tastes since I absolutely loved what Moore did with DS9 in contrast with the late great Ira Steven Behr. The Dominion storyline and actors he brought into the fold were far beyond what Star Trek fans had ever seen before on TV.

From 108.13.149.27 on April 8, 2014 at 9:37 AM
I'm confused. I read recently that they were going to teardown BG in Singapore. Then it sounded like they were just going to re-theme it. Now maybe the article was just talking about re-theming the show. So the BG ride is still going to be SBNO?
From James Rao on April 8, 2014 at 9:44 AM
Hi Russell, I confess I did not give Helix much of a chance and definitely did not make it to episode 8. My anger at what happened to BSG is hard to overcome (I did end up watching the BSG finale and thought it too was awful, but having given up on the series sometime before did not have much context for what was occurring).

As for DS9, I liked it to a point, and I did love the Dominion, but when they did that awful "reset" in season three using the virtual reality simulation to determine how much the Federation would sacrifice to avoid war with the Dominion, I gave up (incidentally, Ronald Moore wrote part one of the storyline to which I am referring, and Ira Steven Behr wrote part two - part one was terrific, part two, ugh). Besides, Babylon 5 was running at the same time and, imho, totally outclassed anything DS9 had to offer.

Neither here nor there, but again, I still think the BSG mini series Moore did (and the first couple season of the show) were brilliant. And in the right hands, BSG could be brilliant again.

From Robert Niles on April 8, 2014 at 11:00 AM
Anon: The Singapore coaster's fate is not related to the proposed new BSG movie. It appears that the coaster is toast, at this point. But perhaps a new movie might inspire Universal to build a new BSG attraction somewhere.

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