By Charlie Schmidlin | The Playlist April 9, 2014 at 10:22AM
Ever since he landed on the 2012 Black List, Jack Paglen has held some enviable company: next week sees the release of “Transcendence," directed by Wally Pfister and starring Johnny Depp, and last summer he was revealed as the new writer for Ridley Scott’s “Prometheus 2”. Tackling the sequel to a thorny franchise turned out to be troublesome however, as writer Michael Green replaced him on the film, but it seems Paglen has recovered nicely with another high-profile sci-fi project.
Glen A. Larson created a bonafide pop culture staple in 1978 with “Battlestar Galactica”, and the concept has remained potent over the years even as networks thought otherwise. The tale of a war between humans and Cylons in the distant galaxy finally caught on in 2003 though, when a three-hour Sci-Fi Channel miniseries led to a series that would run until 2009. Now Universal is eager to reboot the franchise once more, and they’ve tapped Paglen as the man to do it. Larson will produce the new film, which the studio hopes to be a complete re-imagining; as for the choice of director to bring Paglen’s script to life, Bryan Singer has been in talks to direct a version since 2003, but after the “X-Men” franchise initially took him away, it seems unlikely for him to return. We’ll see how Paglen’s draft turns out though, and if the “Battlestar Galactica” project ends up more than just a long-gestating possibility.
Meanwhile, Paglen’s first produced screenplay “Transcendence” is playing up its concept surrounding artificial intelligence for all it’s worth, and you can see exactly that approach in a new featurette released. It interviews a swath of professors and futurists to gather their thoughts on just how close we are to the Singularity between man and machine as depicted in the film; take a look below, and catch Pfister’s directorial debut when it hits theaters April 18th. [Variety]