The first of two direct-to-DVD movies for continuing the Stargate SG-1 saga, Stargate: The Ark of Truth, hasn’t even been out of the stores a week, but already the preliminary sales information is encouraging, according to Atlantis executive producer and co-showrunner Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog. “To all those of you asking – the preliminary sales performance of The Ark of Truth has taken everyone here at the production offices by surprise. We were hoping for a strong showing, but the response to this point has been nothing short of amazing. Still the #1-selling DVD at Amazon.com the last time I checked, and early reports have it doing extremely well at other outlets. Congratulations to Robert Cooper, the cast, and crew.”
Even during the two movies’ production there was talk of having more movies made to continue the SG-1 portion of the Stargate franchise. Brad Wright, who wrote the second direct-to-DVD movie, Stargate: Continuum, told the Official Stargate Magazine, “There will be Stargate films, that’s inevitable. We’re MGM’s number two franchise after James Bond, so it’s an important franchise and it’s growing still. I don’t see why we can’t do at least one movie a year.”
Wright and Cooper have already pitched the third movie to MGM and Richard Dean Anderson, but the DVD sales figures of the first two movies will most likely have priority in MGM’s decision to continue the series in this new format. “If the movies are well received,” Wright stated, “then the third movie will probably be slotted in after production of the third Stargate series [tentatively entitled Stargate Universe and already pitched to MGM and the Sci Fi Channel for production], or after Stargate Atlantis. But, if one or the other doesn’t go forward, then we’ll probably start shooting our third movie in the spring of 2008.”
No official word has been released as to whether or not the third series has been given the green light, but Stargate Atlantis is currently shooting their fifth season, which is scheduled to be wrapped in the fall this year.
Cooper has been more cautious of recent concerning the form that his next installment of the franchise will take. In an interview conducted for Cinema Spy that was leading up to the release of his movie on DVD in North America, Cooper said, “There’s always the possibility of more Stargate. It’s a question of what is it going to be? Is it going to be more SG-1 straight-to-DVDs? Is the third series going to be first? I’m not really sure. That’s all something that is not entirely my decision.”
If there is a third movie, will the SG-1 main cast members (Ben Browder, Amanda Tapping, Christopher Judge, Claudia Black, Beau Bridges, and Michael Shanks) be available? It’s obvious that these talented individuals have gone on to other projects and that getting them all back together might be a production challenge, but Cooper seemed positive that it would be possible. “I do think that, for the most part, the main cast of SG-1 is obviously off doing their own thing, whatever that may be, and that if we decide to proceed with more movies, that we would be able to get them all back.”
Recently, there has been much press concerning the creative endeavors of the main cast. Amanda Tapping is producing and starring in Sci Fi Channel’s Sanctuary. She and Stargate creative veterans Damian Kindler and Martin Wood are currently filming the 13-episode order that took Tapping away from her full-time cast position in Season Five of Stargate Atlantis. Ben Browder is currently co-writing a mini-series for the Sci Fi Channel entitled Going Homer and has recently expressed interest in reprising his role as astronaut John Crichton in the new web version of Farscape (10 webisodes are currently being planned).
Business partners Christopher Judge and Michael Shanks are working with MGM on producing a two-hour movie and a one-hour pilot for Judge’s script Rage of Angels. Stargate director Brad Turner is also a co-producer and will be directing. They’re looking at using some of the Stargate filming crew and Bridge Studios near Vancouver this summer, possibly in June. If all goes well, they will have a fall or winter premiere on one of several networks that have expressed interest. Judge has stated, however, that the project will not be on the Sci Fi Channel.
Even with these projects, each of the members of the main cast has been positive about returning to make at least one new SG-1 movie a year. Additionally, Tapping, Judge, Bridges, and Shanks have all stated their willingness to reprise their roles on Stargate Atlantis in Season Five (Tapping and Shanks are confirmed for two episodes each thus far).
With these first encouraging sales figures coming back so soon after The Ark of Truth DVD’s release, it is very possible that the band will be back together soon. To quote Michael Shanks from a recent interview, “Thank you. Thank you for continuing to support the franchise and we’ll look forward to spending more time with you in this year and in the years to come.”