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WIRE Buzz: Battlestar Galactica reboot lands writer; Mandalorian update; Sony-IMAX

By Josh Weiss
Battlestar Galactica

"Some believe that there may yet be brothers of man who even now, fight to survive somewhere beyond the heavens ..."

The television reboot/revival of Battlestar Galactica that's currently in the works at Peacock (NBCUniversal's new streaming service) has tapped Assassin’s Creed screenwriter Michael Lesslie, Deadline confirmed today. He is set to create, write, and executive-produce the series alongside Mr. Robot creator Sam Esmail.

“I am beyond excited to be taking on this iconic and inspirational show. As a lifelong devotee, I know that the possibilities of Battlestar Galactica’s world are infinite and that each iteration has raised the bar for epic and intelligent sci-fi storytelling," Lesslie said in a statement to Deadline.

Michael Lesslie Battlestar Galactica

The original Battlestar Galactica ran on ABC for a single season between 1978 and 1979. Created by Glen A. Larson, the show centered on a group of humans struggling to survive after a deadly war with the robotic Cylons. It proved to be so popular that it briefly returned for 10 extra episodes via Galactica 1980.  Ronald D. Moore brought the IP back to the small screen in 2003 with a three-hour miniseries, which spawned an acclaimed new show that ran on SYFY (back when it was called Sci-Fi) for a total of 76 episodes across four seasons. A prequel spinoff, Caprica, ran for one season in 2010.

"The teams at Esmail Corp, UCP and Peacock are second to none, and I already know that we are going to honor Glen A. Larson and Ronald D Moore’s landmark series and break new boundaries with our own vision. It’s a dream come true – one I just can’t wait to share with fans, new and old alike. So say we all," Lesslie added.

Check out SYFY WIRE's official podcast about the show right here.

Peacock enjoyed its soft launch in mid-April ahead of the wide launch July 15.

Will The Mandalorian's second season be finished in time for a premiere on Disney+ this fall? We don't know for certain, but the crew behind the live-action Star Wars series is giving it their all, even as all the post-production work has gone remote amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“We’ve been hunkered down in the post process, it’s been a challenging and great experience so far, but it’s good to have that to take my mind away from the daily madness that we’re living at the moment,” returning director Rick Famuyiwa recently told Variety.

The Mandalorian

Hal Hickel, the series' animation supervisor, added that the biggest challenge of working on the show from home is its sheer number of VFX shots, a number that easily rivals any major blockbuster.

“A big tentpole summer film, like say Avengers, might be around 2,000 visual effects shots, and these series are a little shy of 4,000 visual effects shots for Season 1, and Season 2 is no different,” he explained. “We’re doing them in around the same amount of time, maybe even less time, than a big summer film, plus we all have to work remotely. We’re in the middle of that tsunami now, but we’re going to get it all done, people are going to get their Baby Yoda, I promise.”

Baby Yoda The Mandalorian

In addition to Pedro Pascal (Din Djarin, the titular character) and Gina Carano (Cara Dune), Season 2 will bring in new faces played by Michael Biehn (The Terminator) and Rosario Dawson (Marvel's Daredevil). The former is taking up the role of an unnamed bounty hunter, while Dawson is set to bring Clone Wars' fan favorite character, Ahsoka Tano, into the live-action medium.

A third season of the show has already been ordered.

Sony Pictures Entertainment has expanded on its partnership with IMAX to release hundreds of large format films on IMAX Enhanced, SYFY WIRE has confirmed. 

The digital platform (currently available in 14 countries and across 17 electronics manufacturers) allows viewers to bring IMAX theater quality into the comfort of their own homes by combining the company's "digitally remastered 4K HDR content and DTS premium audio delivered through high-end consumer electronics and streaming platforms."

Spider-Man: Far From Home, Jumanji: The Next Level, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Venom, Men in Black: International, Charlie's AngelsJumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse are among the movies offered through the partnership.

Countless new titles will hit IMAX Enhanced in the coming years as the studio continues to produce and release more blockbuster films like Morbius, Venom: Let There Be CarnageGhostbusters: Afterlife, and the sequels to Far From Home and Into the Spider-Verse.

Screen Shot 2019-07-11 at 10.31.45 AM

“SPE's storied library provides our fans access to an unprecedented, ever-expanding roster of movie favorites across multiple genres. We look forward to continuing to drive momentum on all fronts by working tirelessly with our leading consumer electronics and streaming partners on delivering breakthrough technology and content experiences for consumers around the world," Patrick McClymont, IMAX executive vice president and chief financial officer, said in a statement.

“Today’s agreement underscores SPE’s belief in the value of high-quality viewing experiences that IMAX Enhanced is able to bring to discerning consumers," added Pete Wood, SPE’s senior vice president, new digital distribution. "Always at the forefront of delivering exceptional content to viewers, wherever they are, SPE’s investment in the IMAX Enhanced program ensures that we will continue to deliver even more of our films to audiences who now expect to experience movies at the highest technical quality– even in their own homes."