Looking to develop its own homegrown franchises, United Artists is embarking on a space odyssey with sci-fi writer Ronald D. Moore.

The studio has signed Moore, the co-creator, writer and exec producer of Sci Fi Channel's Battlestar Galactica, to create and write an original sci-fi trilogy for the big screen.

Moore, whose writing credits include the features Star Trek: Generations and Star Trek: First Contact as well as episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Roswell and Carnivale, worked with new UA CEO Paula Wagner nearly 10 years ago when she and partner Tom Cruise were producing Mission: Impossible III, on which he received a story credit.

"Over the last decade, Ron has emerged as the foremost sci-fi, fantasy creator, writer in the industry and working with him to bring his creative talents to the big screen is a great partnership for our studio," Wagner said.

UA president of production Don Granger brought the project into the studio.

Moore, repped by CAA, also is working on a prequel to The Thing for Universal.