“Mr. Robot” writer and director Sam Esmail has revealed the details of the reboot of the Battlestar Galactica series, which he is producing. He talked about a non-standard approach to storytelling and experiments with teleformat.
We are still working on a pilot. It’s a big universe, a huge world and I really respect Ronald Moore. I spoke with him before taking on this project to make sure he doesn’t mind. The last thing I want to do is put pressure on him. So far, we have a basic construction of the type of story we want to tell. We are working on a piece of mythology that is very rich here, and again I have to give Ron his credit for that.
“Mr. Robot” in the format of the series feels lighter than “Battlestar”, in which the whole ensemble of characters, and not one hero. Here you are not telling one story, but jumping from one life to another. It’s like painting a picture on a large canvas. I’m not sure if we will think through each plot twist the same way I did with “Mr. Robot”. After all, that show was much more personal.
According to Esmail, he was given a lot of creative freedom and the opportunity to experiment with the serial format. You can shoot an episode for an entire hour or for 20 minutes – it all depends on the plot that unfolds in a particular episode.
So far we do not know exactly how many episodes will be, and how they will be released. We can release three at once, because one big battle lasts so long and it is worth watching at a time, even if these are different chapters in the story. And after them we can publish a 20-minute episode about the backstory of one of the characters. In general, we are free to experiment, given the rich mythology of the series.
Therefore, it is still meaningless to talk about the number of episodes per season, because we will consider the whole story as a spider web. We’ll pick a certain point and say: “This is not chronologically after the first and second episodes, but we’d better show the audience now. They can watch the episode or skip it and go straight to the action.”
Esmail expects filming of the restart to begin before the end of 2021, if the coronavirus does not interfere with the plans. The showrunner of the series is Michael Lessley, who previously worked with Macbeth, The Little Drummer, and the film adaptation of Assassin’s Creed.
Michael writes the pilot and will executive produce it. I think he’s a better candidate for this than me. All this science fiction and rich mythology is too complicated for me.
The original series was released in 1978 and lasted the entire season. From 2004 to 2009, a reboot was shown on SyFy, which gathered a decent audience and won a number of awards. The new remake will be released on Universal’s Peacock streaming service.