Alright. I did a bit of research, not sure if it will be useful or not.
Here's what I found out about the interest in space games
-People are indeed regaining interest for space games
-People are NOT interested in arcade based shooters.
-The most popular tags within space games are 'MMO' 'Open-World' 'Strategy' and 'Sandbox'
So I concluded that, under the assumption that such a thing is possible, a viable strategy would be to scramble every skilled coder and modder and have them create some sort of 'Open World RPG' version of either original Freespace or one of the full conversions. Have someone gather attention to it on Steam Greenlight and the hype should be coming by itself.
Please keep in mind, I have no idea about the extent to which the source code can be modified, nor do I know if something like that is possible. It's just a small idea really.