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Battlestar Galactica - What We Know So Far

The 2004 incarnation of Battlestar Galactica was easily the most long-lived and critically-hailed of the franchise's many incarnations. Unfortunately, it ended way back in 2009, but it seems the time is ripe for another installment of the legendary conflict between humans and Cylons. In late 2019, NBCUniversal announced a new version of Battlestar Galactica for its then-upcomings streaming service Peacock, with none other than the Mr. Robot creator Sam Esmail acting as an executive producer (per Deadline). Though details of the show were few at the time, Esmail soon clarified on Twitter that we wouldn't see a beat-by-beat repeat of the original story.  "BSG fans, this will NOT be a remake of the amazing series [Ronald D. Moore] launched because ... why mess with perfection?" he wrote. "Instead, we'll explore a new story within the mythology while staying true to the spirit of Battlestar. So say we all!" Incidentally, at least one of the people he was referring to would likely be Michael Lesslie, the showrunner and lead writer of AMC's Little Drummer Girl. According to Deadline, Lesslie presides over the new Battlestar Galactica as creator, writer and executive producer.

Seeing as the Battlestar Galactica universe spans several shows, along with games, TV films, comics and books, there's a lot of material to play with. So, where exactly will Lesslie and Esmail's upcoming effort fit in? Let's take a look at what we know about the release date, cast and plot of the new Battlestar Galactica reboot.Seeing as the Battlestar Galactica universe spans several shows, along with games, TV films, comics and books, there's a lot of material to play with. So, where exactly will Lesslie and Esmail's upcoming effort fit in? Let's take a look at what we know about the release date, cast and plot of the new Battlestar Galactica reboot.

What is the Battlestar Galactica reboot's release date?

Battlestar Galactica is a beloved, valuable intellectual property, and as such, Peacock presumably wants to make it a tentpole genre franchise. This will likely translate to a pretty long wait while the show is honed to perfection, even assuming that the current global pandemic situation doesn't cause any production speed bumps along the way. 

Here's what we know about the new Battlestar Galactica show's current status: On July 10, 2020, Bill McGoldrick, President of Original Content at NBCU Entertainment Networks and Direct-to-Consumer, revealed to Deadline that the pre-production is moving along. Michael Lesslie has already brought some ideas to the table, and McGoldrick is pretty happy with what he's seen so far. "I have seen an outline that we're excited about," he says. "It's obviously a big undertaking and we're aware of the importance of that IP and we're being pretty deliberate, but it's progressing nicely."

As things stand, the draft script is expected to hit the executive desks around August or September 2020, after which Lesslie should assemble his writers' room and start working on the script proper. Since it's a huge show and still early in its production cycle, it's fair to assume that the new Battlestar Galactica won't drop until 2022.

Who's in the cast of the Battlestar Galactica reboot?

As the Battlestar Galactica reboot's script is still a work in progress, its characters are likely still in flux, which in turn means we'll have to wait for a while until we get any casting news. Based on Sam Esmail's comments, however, the show is set in the same universe as the 2004 Battlestar Galactica, while telling its own story. As such, it's not out of the realm of possibility that some of the characters from the beloved show might pop up in one context or another. 

If the new show wants to give some of these familiar figures an outing, they can pretty much take their pick, depending on where and when in the Battlestar universe they want to take their story. The most likely major characters from the 2004 show to reappear in the upcoming one would probably be the humanoid Cylons Number Six (Tricia Helfer) and Number Eight (Grace Park), both of whom were major characters in Battlestar Galactica. The fact that they have numerous copies scattered around the place makes them far and away the most likely old characters to appear in the reboot. Really, though, the Battlestar Galactica's prominence in the series' lore means that almost any major figure from the ship could make at least a cameo appearance. Commander William Adama (Edward James Olmos) has certainly been all around the place, and has plenty of interesting points in his history that could be used for a fresh, new take on the character. President Laura Roslin (Mary McDonnell) and her successor, Dr. Gaius Baltar (James Callis), are also nigh-unavoidable figures in this universe. Who knows, even Apollo (Jamie Bamber) and Starbuck (Katee Sackhoff) might turn up ...

What is the plot of the Battlestar Galactica reboot?

At this point, even Michael Lesslie himself probably doesn't know the exact plot of Peacock's Battlestar Galactica reboot. This being part of the same universe as the 2004 series, however, it's probably safe to say that Cylons will feature fairly prominently, and that the good ship Galactica will at the very least be alluded to.  

Given the franchise's rich mythology, there are several routes that Lesslie's show may choose to explore. Maybe it takes us to Kobol, the ancient planet that saw the first war between humans and Cylons. Perhaps it's a story of a small-scale unit operating during the Cylon Wars, in the way Rogue One: A Star Wars Story allowed its characters to roam in a small, isolated corner of the larger Skywalker Saga while still belonging to the same universe. Maybe the reboot will even bite the bullet and resume after the 2004 show's controversial ending, which abruptly jumped to modern-day New York City. This showed us that the series actually took place some 150,000 years in our past, while teasing that the whole human-robot rift just might happen again. We'll find out where Lesslie takes the franchise when the upcoming Battlestar Galactica reboot debuts on Peacock ... and let's be honest, that day can't come soon enough.