Though he’s not involved in it, â€˜’Battlestar Galactica” vet Richard Hatch says he’s watching the development of Universal’s recently announced feature film adaptation pretty darn closely, in turn surreptitiously hoping those involved look to J.J Abrams’ “Star Trek” reboot for inspiration.
â€˜’I think they saw the success Paramount had with their Star Trek reboot. But unlike Paramount, who seems to know the Star trek audience, I don’t think Universal ever quite got Battlestar”, says the actor on the line from his home in Los Angeles. â€˜’I just hope they hire the right people, and make a good movie.”
Hatch, who played Apollo in the original series and Tom Zarek in the most recent incarnation, believes Universal “Should go further back like Star Trek” in terms of the setting for the film. With Trek, says Hatch, it “was still the characters we love, but they went back twenty…thirty… years to when they were just kids. But with Battlestar, they’re just going to go back to the same timeframe we saw in the series’ and recast those roles. I don’t think Star Trek would’ve been successful if they had recast the Star Trek characters at the same age as they were in the previous films. By going back, it gave that film a window so fans could expect a change of cast.”
“I recently saw the original Battlestar movie on the IMAX screen, as part of the 25th anniversary convention, and let me tell you, it was born for the IMAX! Even with the bad matte paintings on the original, it still looked amazing on the big screen! If they did it today, a full-blown movie of Battlestar, I think it would be amazing… so long as whoever does it understands the characters, the heart & soul, and mythology of it. I just hope they really get it”, says Hatch.
The actor says quite a few filmmakers have wanted to bring the brand to the big screen.
â€˜’Well Glen Larson, of course, but also Tom DeSanto, the X-Men producer, who wanted to do a Battlestar movie more than anything. DeSanto loves the series, and he almost had it in the works a couple of years back. It’s going to be painful for him to see the movie come to fruition, just as it’s going to be painful for Ron Moore, who I’m sure would love to do a film version of the new series.”
Though the telemovie â€˜The Plan’ is said to be the final instalment in this current “Battlestar” series, Hatch believes the Sci-Fi Channel will bring it back in some shape or form.
“It’s never the end if fans want more. It’s a money game. If they realize people want more, believe me, they’ll make more of them – they did it with Babylon 5, and a number of other sci-fi shows. Battlestar is not done yet, it’s just a question of how and when it’ll come back.”
Hatch hopes the brand’s future will be treated with a little more respect than the â€˜’Terminator” has been.
“I was so disappointed with Terminator [Salvation]”, Hatch says of the recent hit sequel. “Based on the cast they have in there, I thought it was going to be really good but… they just lost…the whole thing. If I was an actor of Christian Bale’s calibre, would you not look at that script and say â€˜there’s something wrong here?
â€˜’I have to tell you something, I think Sam Worthington’s Marcus character is a lot more interesting than the John Connor character. I don’t understand why Bale wanted to play Connor. What they should’ve done is make the focus the John Connor character Or make the focus the John Connor character and the Marcus character. Why did Christian Bale do this movie!?”
Hatch continues, “I was also disappointed with Wolverine. The trailer looked great, but the movie just didn’t work. When you get someone that gets the story, and the characters, of something it’s rare. What’s happening with these big franchises is that some very talented actors and writers are being hired but they mightn’t be right for this particular story. Films are made for all the wrong reasons sometimes.”
Hatch is confident we’ll see more of “Galactica” pretty soon – be it on the big screen or the small.
“I don’t know what they’re going to do, but I love Battlestar, and I think there are so many more wonderful stories to tell. And as much as I think the original series deserves the big treatment I think the new series deserves a series of movies as well.”