Writer, director, and producer Robert C. Cooper recently visited Joseph Mallozzi’s personal blog to answer some questions about his recently-aired Stargate Atlantis episode “Doppelganger”, and while he was there, he answered some questions concerning his direct-to-DVD movie Stargate: The Ark of Truth.
Mallozzi wrote that the producers got together yesterday to watch the movie on the big screen at Sharpe Sound Studios in North Vancouver. In attendance were Robert C. Cooper, Brad Wright, Joseph Mallozzi, Paul Mullie, Martin Gero, and Alex Levine. Not wanting to give away spoilers, Mallozzi simply stated, “Suffice it to say, this is a movie that will richly reward longtime fans.”
The version of the movie that the producers watched was a mix — a version that now includes visual effects and a soundtrack. Mallozzi said, “As for yesterday’s surround sound experience – another WOW goes out to Joel Goldsmith for an incredible score. He has truly outdone himself on this one.” Goldsmith had commented in an interview done about a year ago that he was planning on using an orchestra because the movie’s budget (around $7 million) allowed for it.
Script coordinator Alex Levine commented on the mix in his scifi.com blog recently, “Apparently there are 240 VFX shots (240!) that will be finals in the next week or so.” The time needed to create these visual effects was given as one of the reasons for the movie’s postponed release (see Solutions Blog story).
After viewing the mix, the producers wrote their notes that will go toward producing a “Final Mix” — the released version. Mallozzi stated, “Anyway, we sat back, took assiduous notes, and when the lights came up, tossed ’em Rob’s way: take down the sounds of the streaking ships, hit the jumping into and out of hyperspace a little stronger, and, oh yeah, lose the space crickets. And that was pretty much it. See you at the premiere!”
And when exactly is the premiere? Cooper said, “Right now the target for release of Ark (notice the ‘k’) in North America is March 11, 08. But don’t quote me. That could change.” It was interesting that Cooper qualified this release as only for North America, whereas before it was thought that the DVD would be released at the same time world-wide by MGM and Fox Home Entertainment.
As far as casting is concerned, Cooper confirmed that Sarah Strange (Morgan Le Fay) is in the movie and gave his reasons why Richard Dean Anderson didn’t appear. “I know a lot of people were disappointed that O’Neill doesn’t appear in Ark. The story didn’t really call for it and I didn’t want to wedge him in as I know you would have accused me of doing afterward. But in our tireless effort to please all the people all the time he is back in a big way in Continuum.”
When Cooper and Wright talked about the new format for their stories after the show was canceled, they emphasized that they’d have as much time as they needed to tell the story rather than be limited by the regular 44-minute run time of an episode. Cooper has also said that his story was what was originally really meant to be spread across the course of Season Eleven, but had to be condensed into this one movie instead. In Mallozzi’s blog, he addressed this by stating, “As far as whether the story in Ark feels rushed, while I’m sure diehard fans would have like to see the beats play out over a whole season richly textured with detail … the trade off is that in one jam packed 90 minute movie you get a lot more impact as the big moments unfold. I hope.”
Fans attending Comic Con in San Diego were treated to an action-packed trailer for the movie (see Solutions Blog story), but, surprisingly, the trailer has not appeared on any of the recent Stargate DVD releases. Cooper stated, “There will be trailers for Ark emerging shortly. I believe Fox intends to put them on other DVD releases prior to March.”
Keep up with the Stargate SG-1 movies by visiting the SG-1 Movies index page in the Stargate Wiki (spoilers).