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SYFY WIRE Battlestar Galactica

Simon Kinberg teases 'shared universe' between new 'Battlestar Galactica' film and Peacock series

Whatever shape the next phase of Battlestar takes, big and small screen will work in tandem.

By Matthew Jackson
Simon Kinberg GETTY

It's a very busy time behind the scenes for the Battlestar Galactica franchise. A decade after the last entry in the franchise -- the Blood & Chrome webseries that followed up the Peabody-winning SYFY original series from creator Ronald D. Moore -- not one but two major projects are underway to revitalize Battlestar for a new audience.

On the TV side, there's a new streaming series in the works from Mr. Robot creator Sam Esmail, who's developing a new story that will air on NBCUniversal's Peacock service. On the film side, X-Men: Days of Future Past and Invasion writer and producer Simon Kinberg is at work on a new feature inspired by the franchise, taking it to the big screen for the first time after TV movies that arrived during the Moore years. In an interview to promote his new action film The 355, Kinberg offered Collider an update on the progress of the film, and teased what connections it might share with Esmail's project.

"We are in the process of going out to directors and the hope is to attach a director and start prepping the movie this year," Kinberg said. "It's a megillah, humongous film and the prep will be a very long prep period so I would imagine even if we attached a director today it would take six, nine months to prep this movie properly. So at the earliest, we'd be shooting at the end of this year. We'd probably be shooting at the beginning of next year. Time will tell who the director is and then you or someone else will tell who the director is."

So, we have a feature film that seems rather close to entering proper production, and a streaming series with lots of potential still developing over at Peacock. In an age of cinematic universes, the question is obvious: Will the two stories be connected? Here's what Kinberg had to say about his connections to Esmail's side of the saga.

"In terms of the situation with Sam and the show, I can't say too much about it other than there is synergy between the two enterprises and constant communication between us," Kinberg said. "We've become close and been having a really good time together and there will be, for lack of a better phrase and it's an overused phrase, a shared universe."

It's interesting that Kinberg was a little hesitant to use the phrase "shared universe" with regard to Esmail's series, which suggests that perhaps the stories will be so distant from one another that it doesn't necessarily matter that they take place in the same world. After all, a sci-fi franchise like Battlestar offers a rather large galactic playground to run around in, so the projects wouldn't have to overlap unless they wanted to. It'll be especially interesting, once both projects are out in the world, for fans to comb through the connective tissue. 

As for the story behind each project, we still don't know much, but it is clear that there's not a lot of eagerness to re-tread territory that Moore and company already covered very well in their 2004 series. Immediately after his involvement in the Peacock series was announced, Esmail made it clear that his series will not attempt to remake the show, setting the stage for a whole new collection of adventures in the Galactica universe. 

Neither the film nor the streaming series has a firm release date yet.

SYFY and Peacock are both owned by NBCUniversal.