It's not, strictly, film news, but since Battlestar Galactica is one of the most essential shows on TV (the reboot anyway), it follows that we're excite to tell you that its prequel, Caprica, has been greenlit for production by the Sci-Fi Channel.
Caprica follows a power struggle between two rival families on the Earth-like planet of Caprica, capital of the Twelve Colonies featured in the show. This, however, takes place a full 50 years before Galactica itself, before the Twelve Colonies are destroyed in an attack by the Cylons, and concerns the development of artificial intelligence and cybernetic lifeforms (Cylons for short). It focuses on two families - the Adamas, led by civil rights lawyer Joseph (Esai Morales) and the wealthy technologists, the Greystones, led by Daniel (Eric Stoltz).
A two-hour pilot has already been made, but this greenlight gives the go-ahead for a story-arc heavy show that, it is hoped, will bring in fans frightened off by Galactica's spaceships ("Eeek! Sci-fi! Run away!") by convincing them that this is more a family drama. It's also expected to deal with the ethical concerns raised by artificial intelligence, and as fans of the space opera will know, there won't be any easy answers here.
Caprica is due to hit our screens in 2010, with filming getting underway in Vancouver early next year. In the meantime, the second half of season four of Battlestar Galactica will air from January 16 in the US, followed by a two-hour TV movie called The Plan in August (directed by Edward James "Admiral Adama" Olmos himself). Between that selection, we should be able to fight off our Battlestar cravings for some time to come.