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Bryan Singer Will Have To Balance Old, New ‘Battlestar Galactica’

Richard Hatch, who was in both incarnations, shares thoughts on new movie

For “Battlestar Galactica” to work on the big screen — even with Bryan Singer attached — it will have to not only take the original 1978 series into account, but the 21st century Syfy reimagining as well.

At least that’s how actor Richard Hatch sees it. And he should know. Not only has he appeared in both versions of “Battlestar Galactica,” but he’s the main reason why people continued to talk about the show some 25 years after its cancellation. Hatch led an effort to revive “Battlestar Galactica” in the 1990s as a continuation project, and eventually warmed to Ronald D. Moore’s version of the show, enough to actually take on the recurring role of terrorist politician Tom Zarek.

And while Singer and producer Tom DeSanto are no strangers to the “Battlestar” universe — the two were the first to try and tackle a revival of the television show in 2001 — things have definitely changed since Moore took on the project and turned it into its own iconic offering.

“I think with Bryan Singer and Tom DeSanto, knowing how much [they] love the show … will probably find a way to balance the tone of the show between the original mythology and backstory and the more edgy, darker version of the reimagined that we just did,” Hatch told an audience at the recent WonderCon convention in San Francisco. “I think he’s going to find a way to balance the two. it’ll be edgier, darker, but he still wants to have some of that energy that the original ‘Battlestar Galactica’ had.”

Universal Pictures — owned by the same company that produced (and aired) the new “Battlestar Galactica” — apparently believes that as groundbreaking as the new series was, it didn’t reach a wide enough audience that would help the show in a box office release, Hatch said. However, the actor said that the original show — because it reached 65 million people — would be more accessible to general audiences.

That’s a tricky area to talk about, since television viewing in 1978 in a time when cable was not widespread and only three major television networks were on the air is far different from the fragmented viewing that takes place today.

Hatch also said a movement to make the film more family-oriented is a good direction to consider.

“Reach more people, make more money, so I think that’s one of the reasons why they want to go back and try working with the original again,” Hatch said. “I have no idea where they’re going to go with it. I honestly don’t.”

The “Battlestar Galactica” project remains in early pre-production, and no production schedule or release date has been offered by the studio.

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