Bryan Singer to direct 'Battlestar' film

Universal picked up the rights in February

Bryan Singer is attached to direct and produce Universal's big-screen version of "Battlestar Galactica."

The deal hyper-jumps the development of "Galactica," for which Universal quietly picked up the movie rights in February from original show creator Glen A. Larson as the lauded Sci Fi series was wrapping up.

The deal also brings Singer back to a project he was close to getting off the ground at the beginning of the decade. Singer and Tom DeSanto were developing with USA for Fox TV a backdoor pilot that was intended to be a sequel to the 1978 series, but those were shelved after the attacks of Sept. 11.

(The premise involved a human civilization on 12 planets decimated from an attack by intelligent robots known as Cylons. Survivors are led by the starship Galactica in their attempt to find a mythic 13th planet named Earth.)

Word of Singer's possible involvement was first broken at

The feature is now being developed not only in the shadow of the just-wrapped series, which was a serious exploration of the politics of war, religion, torture and destiny, but also the upcoming spinoff, "Caprica," set a generation earlier.

There is no script for the new "Galactica," though insiders have said the feature is to be a complete reimaginging and will stand separately.

Singer's involvement caps a couple of weeks worth of chatter about the director, who seems to be re-emerging from a hiatus and re-engaging the town. One rumor had Singer going to direct "X-Men: First Class," which would have brought him back to the Marvel Comics franchise he launched in 2000.

WME-repped Singer has also met on helming New Line's action fantasy "Jack the Giant Killer," about a young farmer who leads a rescue mission to the kingdom of giants when a princess is kidnapped. No offer has been made.

Universal's Scott Bernstein and Anikah McLaren are overseeing "Galactica" for the studio.