On the new official Stargate site, Robert C. Cooper, Brad Wright, and others give lengthy interviews about where the Stargate franchise is headed. Included in the RCC and BW portions are many new spoilers for the remainder of Season 10 of SG-1, the SG-1 movies, and big news on Atlantis casting. Those interviews appear to have been conducted in December, with Wright’s before Cooper’s. Since the site requires high bandwidth connection, and even then has a hard time getting through an entire interview, we provide a summary of the points of most interest here. Warning: major spoilers!
Robert C. Cooper
- SG-1’s final episode, “Unending”, will have the team trapped on board a ship, within a time dilation field, for 50 years. We will see how the relationships might develop and evolve. It represents one possible future given a certain set of circumstances. RCC wrote and directed the episode because he wanted to be on set during the emotional final days of filming. He feels it is a fitting end to the 1-hour series era of SG-1. At the end of the episode, the events will be “undone”.
- The pay-off of the Ori storyline will be in the first DVD movie, which RCC is writing and directing. He had planned it as an arc for Season 11, but will now resolve it in a “very exciting” two hours. MGM has financed the movies based only on projected DVD sales, but are looking for broadcast deals as well. The funding for each of the 2 DVD movies is more than it would be for 2 episodes, but still nowhere near a feature-type budget, so they will be using their creativity to make it look big on a TV-movie budget. All of the main cast have signed for the movie, and they have contacted RDA about appearing as O’Neill in one or both movies. No work on whether that will work out business-wise or not.
- Because the first DVD movie will be a continuation of Season 10, the DVD will include a 1-hour special on the history of Stargate so that viewers who haven’t seen all of Stargate will know what is going on. The special will be called “Stargate Mythology” and will include material on how real-world ancient mythology has played into the Stargate shows.
- The second movie is more of a standalone story, although, if the actors are available, it will bring back a lot of fan favorites. The intention is to get fans used to the idea of SG-1 movies, to whet their appetites for more.
- The movies will not be tied to an exact length, so they can edit them to have all the scenes and shots that make sense for the stories, rather than being tied to 44:15 like they were for episodes. They will also be shot in widescreen 16×9 format without ‘protecting’ the center of the screen, for a movie-like feel.
- RCC and BW will continue as executive producers of Atlantis even though Joe Mallozzi and Paul Mullie are the show-runners. RCC will be there every day in his office.
- The movies will keep RCC and BW busy until the summer time. They are writing now, planning of 4 weeks of shooting for each starting in mid April, then the usual post-production.
- In the meantime they are working on the concept of the 3rd series with MGM. If all goes well, it would go into production sometime in the summer for airing at the beginning of 2008. RCC would only say the series maintains the spirit of Stargate, but opens up a whole new “universe.” They have no idea where the series might air. It is too early to say anything like that.
- Amanda Tapping will be joining the cast of Atlantis for 14 episodes in Season 4. He recognizes some SGA fans won’t be happy to have SG-1 characters crossing over, but he believes it will encourage SG-1 fans to watch and that AT is a great actress and Carter a very likable character.
- RCC feels it is totally up to Sci Fi to schedule and promote Atlantis to make sure people know it’s on and watch it.
- The first SG-1 DVD movie will be called Stargate: The Ark of Truth. In it, the team will travel to the Ori galaxy. The Ori arc will end with this movie.
- The second DVD movie will be called Stargate Continuum. It will be a time travel story. He wants to prove it could be the first in a string that could continue the SG-1 legacy. It will feature characters who are dead in current show canon, but can be brought back because of time travel. He would really like RDA to be in one or both movies, but it’s up to RDA and the business side to work it out. At the time of the interview, Beau Bridges was not yet signed for the movies. Wright hopes that Martin Wood will direct the second movie.
- He thinks Season 3 of SGA was the best so far and hopes and expects Atlantis to go beyond Season 4. He is also very committed to helping and remaining involved.
- He is very relieved they are making 24 hours of TV this year (20 hours of Atlantis plus 4 hours of DVD movies) instead of 40. That was a ‘stupid’ amount of work to do both shows at once for three years with only one additional writer.
- He does not feel going direct to DVD for the movies is a bad thing. As home theaters become so good, more and more people prefer to watch movies on DVD. The 16×9 widescreen format gives them a lot more freedom to film in a movie style as well, rather than having to keep all the action in the center of the screen for 4×3 TV’s.
- If the Stargate Worlds on-line game does well [financially], it will really help the franchise continue.
- Amanda Tapping will be joining the cast. They have wanted to bring her over for a while, but with SG-1 getting renewed each year, they couldn’t do it.
- Torri Higginson will be back for some period of time in Season 4, but she will be a recurring character (!). Wright said this in a rather surprising way: that Torri will be back in S4 for some episodes, as if that were good or unexpected news.