Go Back   Colonial Fleets > BATTLESTAR GALACTICA DISCUSSION AREA > The Last Battlestar......Galactica!
The Last Battlestar......Galactica! For discussions about the ORIGINAL series
What Dreams May Come!


Thread Tools
Old March 13th, 2004, 09:04 PM   #1
larocque6689's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 392

Default The Larson, Hatch and Desanto timelines

The Glen Larson / Todd Moyer Galactica project was one of several failed attempts to bring back Galactica in the past ten years. In 1994 at the 15 Yahren Reunion in Los Angeles, Glen Larson announced that "the Fox television network would like to bring Galactica back... There is a good chance we will be doing... something like a four-hour movie that will re-examine the whole saga of Galactica and its past, present, future." The project ultimately fizzled, with some blaming the downfall on the project due to the low turnout.

Over the next few years there little news on the Galactica revival front. But in 1999, two stories dominated the landscape - the completion of Richard Hatch's "Second Coming" trailer, and Glen Larson and Todd Moyer's IMAX project. In a published interview in SciFi Magazine in January, Glen Larson stated that "the rights for Galactica as a movie just reverted to my company. We've talked about it as a series, but it is still in the talk stage... There's nothing tangible at this moment but I wouldn't preclude it coming back, first as a big movie, and then out of that could be born a new TV show."

On March 10, Variety published an annoucement of a new Galactica movie, to be produced by Todd Moyer (producer of Wing Commander) and Glen Larson, with Mike Finch handling the screeenplay. The independent feature was slated to be shot in Luxembourg and budgeted for $40 million. Said Moyer: "I'm very excited to be working with Glen Larson... Battlestar Galactica has an illustrious history, a huge fan base and enormous potential to be a successful motion picture." Visual F/X on the movie were to be done by Moyer's No Prisoners 3DFX, including visual effects supervisor Chris Brown, Erik Strauss, and other Wing Commander veterans. Twelve of the 19 personnel were formerly associated with the defunct Boss Film Corporation of Richard Edlund.

According to Variety, the plot of the movie starts where the original series off, aboard the Pegasus. Commander Cain's mission is to find the lost Battlestar Galactica, and the tribe of humans he hinks may have reached earth during pre-historic times aboard the Atlantis. A Galactica revival without the Galactica? Todd Moyer expanded on the synposis in an interview in March at Aint it Cool News. "Some people seem to be thinking that the plot synopsis suggests the movie will only about Cain looking for Galactica. That is not the case at all. The Galactica will be in this movie, and will be an important component in the film." Moyer commented on how space battles were going to be done in three dimensions, something he said was not done in Star Wars or the original Battlestar movie.

Larson clarified his legal situation in a response to Richard Hatch's March newsletter. "Glen Larson has 'separation of rights' under the Writer's Guild agreement. In simple terms, this means that Universal Studios owns the television rights to Battlestar, and Glen Larson is the sole and exclusive owner of any and all feature film rights to the Battlestar franchise. Glen Larson and Todd Moyer have formed a joint venture to exploit these rights. In his June newsletter, Hatch wrote that Moyer had actually met with Richard Hatch in December 1998 to discuss a Galactica revival, but never returned any phone calls after the initial meeting. That was the last Hatch heard of Moyer until the Variety annoucement, which he described as a "paid advertisement". Hatch had since went ahead to finance his own Galactica trailer which he had shown to fans on the convention circuit.

Moyer made a followup interview at IGN Scifi in August where he described his pursuit of Galactica and how his getting to the bottom of the rights issue led him to original producer Glen Larson. The budget had grown to be $45 to $50 million, with about $15 to $17 million dedicated to F/X alone and a new shooting location in Babelsberg, Germany. He again reiterated a desire to do 3-D space battles and promised the film would have 500 shots. As a result of this interview, the project came to be known as the IMAX or Walking Vipers project, because the film was intended to be shown in the IMAX format, and featured Vipers which can go into "walker mode" such as the computer game MechWarrior.

In an interview in December on the SciFi wire, Larson said that "the motion picture rights reverted to me, and [Universal's] not interested in going back to television at this point." In Starlog that month, he stated that he had a script for a two-hour movie and may re-examine IMAX because their films tend to run no longer than 50 minutes. Lloyd Bridges was intend to have a guest role as Commande Cain. According to Larson, would be integral to any Galactica storyline. "We've played with the Pegasus as an element for this movie. It would give us a device to update audiences on what happened and it could be done in a love, visually exciting way. But, at this point, I don't know if we would take the time to do something like that. I do know that it would NOT be our intention to stay with the Pegasus for the rest of the picture.

News went into a black hole, until August 2000, when news of the Larson/Moyer trailer resurfaced as reported in Dark Horizons. "Stu Phillips original score is kind of done-up David Arnold style and then it cuts to text of the original logo with the Cylon red-eye continuously crossing the logo. Then it says 'Launching Christmas of 2000." According to Jon Caroll who had seen it, "it's about 30 seconds long, all CG, with some shots of Egyptian-looking architecture, a Battlestar rising over it, some Vipers fly past... and then a close shot of a CG cylon with the tracking red eye... Moyer's group made it over a year ago, and most of the people that animated it at Moyer's facility are long since gone."

In late December, rumors of a Galactica revival without Richard Hatch or Glen Larson surfaced. That was followed by the Februrary 2001 Bryan Singer/Tom Desanto annoucement. That project was grounded not long after 9/11 and the departure of Bryan Singer. That paved way for the Ron Moore/David Eick remake that was announced April 2002 leading to the Decembetr 2003 4-hour miniseries. As of late 2003, Glen Larson still holds theatrical rights to do a Galactica movie, and there is hope within fandom that he will partner with Tom Desanto and use the original cast.
larocque6689 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 13th, 2004, 09:06 PM   #2
larocque6689's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 392


Richard Hatch's campaign to revive Battlestar Galactica goes at least as far back as the early 1990s. Richard was one of the key participants at the 15 Yahren Reunion in Los Angeles in October 1993, where he actively campaigned for a continuation among both the fans and his fellow cast alumni. In April 1994, Richard told television audiences on E! that he had written a trilogy of scripts.

In his October 1996 newsletter Hatch revealed that he had met with the Syndication Department of Universal Studios regarding Battlestar Galactica series, and that they were favorable to the idea of reviving it. He was also in the beginning stages of writing a Battlestar novel, and in Februrary finalized a deal with Byron Preiss books to publish a trilogy of hardcovers. The same month, in DeeJay Driscoll's newsletter for the upcoming 20 Yahren Reunion, she wrotre that Richard was writing a BSG script "utilizing the original cast members, with a possible release through Sci-Fi Channel. He's gathering letters of intent from the fellow original cast members and negotiating with Sci-Fi Channel. He said that he knew Glen Larson was currently working on a new BG 'pilot' without the original cast, through MCA/Universal."

By 1998, Richard had decided to try something new, a Battlestar Galactica trailer. He developed the script with Sophie Laporte early in the year (based on ideas presented in his novels) and had several meetings with Barry Diller at Universal. In the online chat at the 20 Yahren Reunion he stated: "I have been pitching Battlestar to Universal and Barry Diller's company for the past three months and am putting together a short presentation as part of out pitch to clarify our concept of building a bridge between the old show and the new one. It follows the same line as the books which update the original series with the original characters 20 years in the future."

Many of the live action sequences in the trailer were shot during the convention, including the last filmed appearance of the late John Colicos, who died in March 2000. Other original cast members included Terry Carter as President of the Council, Jack Stauffer, and George Murdock, with Hatch reprising the role of Apollo, this time as Commander of the fleet. The roles for Athena and Boxey/Troy had been recast. Produced by Johnny J. Young, Richard co-directed the trailer with Jay Wolhoul. As he told Entertainment Weekly in July, "I've never [directed and produced a movie] before. It scares me. But I got tired of waiting for someone else to do it." Many other people donated their time and expertise to make this effort possible.

Special effects were supervised by cinematographer Dean Kundey (Apollo 13) and Brick Price of Wonderworks (Deep Impact) as well as personnel from Foundation Imaging. Principal photography ended in December, with the intent to have it edited by February and presented to Universal by the end of May, although by April not all the F/X had been completed. It was slated to have its first appearance on the July 4 weekend at Atlanat's DragonCon.

The Glen Larson / Todd Moyer annoucement of March in Variety came as an unpleasant surprise to Richard's team. It was not clear that Larson's project would involve any of the original cast, although an official statement from Todd Moyer's "No Prisoners" in March stated that the rights to a BSG film resided with Larson and that the door was open to Richard's involvement in the feature film if it was "appropriate to, or helpful to the project." In his official response in June, Richard Hatch said that he met with Moyer the previous December but that was the last he heard from him until the Variety annoucement, which he described as a "paid advertisement". Hatch also stated that he was told that Universal was the copyright holder and that Larson had sold his interest to them years ago.

A 2 1/2 minute rough cut of the trailer previewed at DragonCon, with Jon Carroll commenting that "while some of the shots looked a little rough, it was still quite impressive considering the resources it was done with." The final 4 1/2 minute edit was presented by Richard and his team at San Diego Comic Con on August 13, and received a standing ovation by convention goers. He showed the trailer again at GoMainLine convention in Philadelphia on August 28 and answered questions from the crowd. Richard told the crowed he had mortgaged his house to finance the trailer, which cost roughly $20,000 and consisted largely of volunteer work from the people associated with the project. Otherwise it would have cost several hundred thousand dollars. He said he had raised $40 to $60 million from investors interested in a Richard Hatch Galactica production. By November in a radio interview, Hatch had raised that number to $80 million.

In an interview in SFX in September, Benedict commented on the rival Larson and Hatch efforts. "The rights stuff is very complex. But you know what? I think they should get together, they should work it out. It's just silly." In the same interview he said that he'd love to play Starbuck "older, still gambling, still womanising, but slightly slower." By 2001 this nearly became reality, when Tom Desanto signed him onto his Battlestar pilot.

By 2000, it was clear that Larson/Moyer had grounded, with very little news on that front. Arbitration had taken place between Larson and Universal on the rights issue in July and the Larson/Moyer Battlestar Atlantis trailer had been shown in August. French conglomerate Vivendi had acquired Universal from the Seagram's group. Meanwnile, Hatch tarried on, continuing to air his trailer on the convention circuit.

In an interview on the SciFi Wire Bonnie Hammer indicated that the SciFi Channel said it might produce new episodes of Battlestar Galactica. In late January 2001, they announced, and then retracted, that they were going to produce a new Battlestar Galactica production without the involvement of either Richard Hatch or Glen Larson. "The series would resemble its predecessor in name only, offering new characters, a new villain to replace the Cylons and a new ship, the spokesman confirmed." Reliable rumors leaked through Michael Faries indicated that this was a project spearheaded by Hammer, and involved no battlestar, but a main ship with biodomes, and a plotline similar to that of the StarLost.

In Februrary 2001, the Singer/Desanto revival of Battlestar Galactica was announced. That project was grounded not long after 9/11 and the departure of Bryan Singer. That paved way for the Ron Moore/David Eick remake that was announced April 2002 leading to the December 2003 4-hour miniseries. As of late 2003, Glen Larson still holds theatrical rights to do a Galactica movie, and there is hope within fandom that he will partner with Tom Desanto and use the original cast including Richard Hatch and Dirk Benedict.
larocque6689 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 13th, 2004, 09:07 PM   #3
larocque6689's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 392


At the beginning of 2001, few had hopes that any new Battlestar Galactica production would ever be considered. A previous Larson/Moyer IMAX project had stagnated and any hopes of continuing Galactica seemed stuck with it in the mire. Then, on 10 Jan 2001, BattlestarGalactica.com provided the first real news that serious players were still pushing to reignite the franchise.

However, all was not as fans would have hoped. According to Michael Faries (webmaster for battlestargalactica.com) and CG artist Ken Thompson Jr., the Sci-Fi Channel was going to redirect the premise of Battlestar Galactica. In this rendition, there would be no Battlestar, but rather, a main starship with biodomes and a plotline similar to the seldom remembered series, "StarLost". Neither Richard Hatch nor Glen Larson's names were attached to this new project which was being pushed by Sci-Fi Channel president, Ms. Bonnie Hammer. The announcement was confirmed on 26 Jan when Sci-Fi Wire published its own promotion of the new series plans only to retract the statement three days later after immediate and fierce fan outrage.
The fans apparently derailed this catastrophe. On 22 Feb, Variety magazine made its own announcement, stating that Bryan Singer and Tom DeSanto, the creative team behind The Usual Suspects and the phenomenally successful X-Men movie, were slated to bring back Galactica on behalf of USA Studios.

In an interview with Michael Fleming, Singer wrote:

"The lesson I learned on X-Men is to have a healthy respect for the fan base of sci-fi fantasy franchises, and I'm confident that the Galactica brand is a sleeping giant. It was a show I watched during its initial run, from the pilot to the final episode. The essence and the brand name is quite potent in a climate where there's a great deficit of sci-fi programming."

USA Television Production Group president David Kissinger endorsed the team and the plans to take the series into prime time. Kissinger was quoted as saying "It's possible that we might be able to do a dual window scenario with the SciFi Channel.", a statement that still concerned many fans. Dan Pasternak a day later on the SciFi wire stated that:

"Bryan and Glen sat down. We wanted to make sure this union was very blessed by Glen. ... He has blessed this and wants to see it go forward. ... We want to make sure that respect is paid." Pasternak also stated that the series was slotted for no earlier than mid-season 2002. "It's pretty epic stuff we're going to do. We're committed to doing it right, now that we have Bryan. It's waited some 20-odd years to be reborn. We're committed to doing it right."

In an interview with Fandom.com, DeSanto ducked the question of whether original cast members would be used, but promised that "old fans and people who haven't heard of it alike will be happy with the new series." He admitted to not having seen Richard Hatch's 2nd Coming trailer and had no info on the network or the location shoot. Regarding the production, "I think it's going to surprise. The same way X-Men surprised the studio, I think this will surprise the network and will become a phenomenon. I don't think people realize the passion people have for this show and the fond memories of the show."

Then the information dried up. BattlestarGalactica.com webmaster, Michael Faries relayed spotted reports gleamed from his phone calls with Tom DeSanto and the production offices. Bryan Singer met and talked with Richard Hatch who officially endorsed the Singer/DeSanto project saying he was elated and that it was a wonderful surprise to him. Soon fans learned that the Singer/Singer team had actually been working on their Galactica project since last August and that the Variety article was only a formal announcement and that preproduction was already underway.

In early March, key cast members were being considered and Dan Angel and Billy Brown ("X-Files") were recruited as "showrunners" for the new production, helping flesh out the pilot script. By April, Studios USA had green-lighted the production and both a series bible and first-draft script had been completed. In June, the FOX network agreed to host the new two-hour Battlestar Galactica continuation series pilot. Tom DeSanto was elated. "I've dreamed of bringing 'Battlestar Galactica' back for over 10 years now and could not think of a better home for it than FOX."

Glen Larson had also joined the production as a consul. Desanto stated in September 2003 "He just wanted to make sure that his child wasn't being raised by a pack of wolves. He didn't want it to be something that was being turned out to exploit its name." Several FX houses including Foundation Imaging, Eden FX and the Orphanage began work, and the producers began constructing sets in a rented an abandonned Sears warehouse in Vancouver. "We built the skeletons of two Vipers and started building the bridge set. It was going to be a true rendition of the bridge, only we were going to make it a bit larger."

By August, fans were becoming concerned. Richard Hatch hadn't been signed for the project or been invited to any official meetings to discuss his role even though filming was scheduled to being in November. Dirk Benedict and Herb Jefferson had already signed onto the project and were optimistic that follow-on projects would include Richard Hatch, although it was becoming increasingly obvious that Richard was not invited for the pilot.

Budgeted at more than $10 million, principal photography was scheduled between November and January 2002, with postproduction to continue through the spring, and a May 2002 premire on FOX. After directing the pilot, Singer would immediately begin pre-production on X2: X-Men United, which was scheduled to being shooting in May as well.

Then September 11 hit, and the production ground to a halt. Said Desanto, "It was devastating. No one was able to function. It was difficult to focus, and we lost about a month, and that caused the schedule to shift." The delay forcded the departure of Bryan Singer from the project to focus on X2. Fox had assigned Rob Bowman to the production. Instead Desanto tried to rope in Nic Meyer (Star Trek), before bringing on Stephen Hopkins, Gary Fleder and Brian Henson. By October it was too late. With Singer gone, FOX had lost interest and withdrew its financial support.

By November, Studios USA and the Sci-Fi Channel announced that they were unable to fund an expensive Galactica production. FOX chose to devote its efforts to creating Josh Whedon's Firefly rather than attempt any further Battlestar Galactica production. By December, Tom DeSanto made an announcement to the fans:

"Our THANKS TO ALL OF YOU that have signed the petitions, written letters and supported the return of Battlestar Galactica. We are listening to you. And we appreciate your support, past, present and future. We feel that you will not be disappointed with our production for the new Battlestar Galactica. And we hope to bring it to you as soon as it is possible."

Then things went quiet.

On 2 April 2002, the saga ended. The DeSanto project died in favor of a new concept promoted by David Eick and Ron Moore.

Since then, fans have speculated as to what a DeSanto project might have looked like. Many accused the main players of maintaining a "cone of silence" that minimized the fanbase's ability to show their support for a faithful Galactica production. Very little information on the script was ever released until Tom Desanto's presentation at Galacticon in October 2003.

Here is a brief plot description as was revealed at the event. After twenty-five years, Adama has passed on, and the fleet is commanded by Boxey, now called Orin, with Starbuck as second in command. It has been twenty years since the Galactica and the Pegasus together had fought off a massive Cylon attack. The Pegasus had been presumed lost, along with Sheba and Apollo. Since then the Colonials, weary of the search for Earth, had established a new Colony in the midst of an asteroid field. But the Cylons were not gone for good.

In the wake of their defeat, a civil war had occurred, in which a new faction had taken over the Cylon empire, one which desired not the destruction of the humans, but their absorption into the empire by giving up their free will and accepting cybernetic implants. By this method, the humans left behind on the original homeworlds had become assimilated into the Empire. In the last half of the pilot episode, Cylons return to launch an assault on New Caprica. With the Galactica damaged, and just as they are about to complete the attack, they mysteriously halt. The final scenes takes place on the Cylon homeworld, where the camera focuses on the Cylon Apollo, a red light moving back and forth behind his right eye.
larocque6689 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 13th, 2004, 09:08 PM   #4
larocque6689's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 392


(Desanto timeline continued)

Additional details came out as to what we would have expected in the series that would have followed. Herb Jefferson, to be cast in the pilot, would have had a semi-regular role. Jane Seymour had contacted the studio, wanting a role in the new project. Desanto would have cast her as one of the angels aboard the Ship of Lights, and as a possible redeemer to help bring Apollo back into the Colonial fold. Sheba, not cast in the pilot, would have returned in command of the Pegasus later in the series. Casseiopeia, now married with children, would also have had a role in the series, along with Colonel Tigh. Desanto had intended to bring back Patrick Macnee as Iblis, who would save seen see his role usurped by his son.

Dirk Benedict was to have a prominent role in the pilot. In a July 2002 interview at SciFiPulse he said:

"I was excited to play Starbuck 20 years older. The same man. Still drinking, smoking and chasing women, but at 50 it has a completely different resonance than when you are in your 20's. Full of pathos. Still romantic and in a way charming and enticing but also lonely and a bit sad. Tom agreed with me on these things. We would not have made him politically correct. I think the fans would have enjoyed it extremely and he would have been marvelous character by which to introduce all the young and the new stars of the revival... Tom DeSanto, as you know, was going to use original members to bridge from what was to what would have been. I regret he was distanced from this project."
larocque6689 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 13th, 2004, 09:08 PM   #5
larocque6689's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 392


Here are additional references

Galactica revival 1978-1998:

Galactica revival 1999:

Galactica revival 2000:

The RDM miniseries primer:

Miniseries list of links:

Visit also this website and make a contribution:
larocque6689 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 14th, 2004, 12:41 PM   #6
Posts: n/a


If they'd tried to emulate The Starlost, I think Harlan Ellison would have brought suit against Sci-Fi / Bonnie Hammer pretty damn quickly. He's not one to sit back and see his concepts get ganked.
  Reply With Quote


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
NEWS: Colonial Newsletter - 03/16/2004 StarshipTrooper The Colonial Newsletter Archives 4 March 15th, 2004 11:27 PM
NEWS: Colonial Newsletter - 12/21/2003 StarshipTrooper The Colonial Newsletter Archives 9 March 12th, 2004 04:49 PM
Richard Hatch interview from Filmfax magazine peter noble The Last Battlestar......Galactica! 0 December 21st, 2003 06:55 AM
Tom Desanto rembers his BSG project peter noble The Last Battlestar......Galactica! 19 November 9th, 2003 05:48 PM
Article on July 17th Chat with Richard Hatch StarshipTrooper The Last Battlestar......Galactica! 6 July 19th, 2003 11:21 AM

So sez our Muffit!!!

For fans of the Classic Battlestar Galactica series

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 05:27 PM. Contact the Fleet - Colonial Fleets - Archive - Privacy Statement - Top
Powered by: vBulletin Version 3.8.11, Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Content and Graphics ©2000-Present Colonial Fleets
The Colonial Fleets Forums are run by Battlestar Galactica fans, paid for by Battlestar Galactica fans, for the enjoyment of fellow Battlestar Galactica fans.

©2000-2008 Colonial Fleets