Brad Wright Considers Movies a Win for Atlantis

In an extensive new interview at Gateworld, Brad Wright makes it clear that having Stargate Atlantis join Stargate: SG-1 in the world of DVD movies is a very positive thing from his viewpoint. From the interview:

We have been in discussions with MGM and SCI FI about “Where to next?” and we decided basically to pull the trigger on movies sooner rather than later, while Atlantis was still doing well. It was a mutual thing. I honestly have neither the desire nor the inclination to blame anybody, because this is a wonderful thing to be able to continue.


It’s not like there was any — like you said, the show was doing well. But you don’t wait until the show isn’t doing well before you try to launch movies. If you are going to go do movies when the show has still got life left in it, that’s a good time!

As to whether Atlantis was canceled to make room for Stargate Universe, Wright had this to say:

It’s not the case. It’s not the case that anything is being pushed aside, any more than SG-1 is pushed aside. Shows have a life, and they live their life … SG-1 went five years on SCI FI. Atlantis went five years on SCI FI. I’m proud of that, and there are always going to be people — there were people who were upset after 10 years! As many, I’m sure, as who were upset after the five years of Atlantis. There will always be a point where those people are disappointed.

This is a way of preserving Atlantis going forward in a very strong way.

Wright also predicts there could only be one SG-1 and one Atlantis movie per year, or perhaps 3 total, with the possibility of cross-overs. This would go on indefinitely. The remainder of the franchise will be filled out by the on-line game Stargate Worlds and Stargate Universe, which he describes as on the cusp of being green-lighted. Based on Wright’s references to Sci Fi Network’s support of Stargate, Stargate Universe might air on Sci Fi and not on MGM’s own channel, as has been speculated by fans.

Read or listen to the entire interview here at Gateworld.

Stargate Hits Big at Comic Con

Another San Diego Comic Con, another huge suite of Stargate events! This year was especially big for Stargate in that Richard Dean Anderson attended for the first time ever, and there were 3 panels, not two: Stargate Continuum, Stargate Worlds, and Stargate Atlantis. Fans had to arrive by 7:15 am to get the best seats, a mere 3.5 hours before the panels began. By the time they started, over 4000 fans had filled Ballroom 20 once again.

Stargate Continuum

Brad Wright moderated the Continuum panel, and it was a rousing and fun affair. In attendance, in order of assigned seating, were Richard Dean Anderson, Amanda Tapping, Director Martin Wood, Michael Shanks, Ben Browder, Chris Judge, and Beau Bridges. It was lovely to note Wright introduced RDA as perhaps his closest friend, and Michael Shanks as personally his favorite actor in the world. RDA didn’t seem nervous at all and in fact seemed to behave exactly as “Jack”, playing dumb and not taking anything the least bit seriously. He was a hoot. It should also be noted that Ben Browder kissed Michael on the lips as he joined him on stage. Michael seemed to take this in stride.

The main news for SG-1 is that both a third movie and Stargate Universe are in development. That doesn’t mean either one has been green-lighted, but MGM has authorized Wright to work on them, especially the third movie. Note this differs from previous stories saying there would either be two more SG1 movies OR Stargate Universe, but not both. Perhaps it will be one of each. In any case Brad is starting to work on a story for the third movie.

Some outlets are reporting this last as major news, but the certainty doesn’t seem to be any more or less definite than it has been for 6 months now. Hmm.

Brad introduced a lovely tribute to Don S Davis. It showed clips of General Hammond talking about what his people and his position as General mean to him, and it was set to Joel Goldsmith’s score from Continuum. When the lights came up after the tribute, all the panelists were clearly moved to tears. RDA got things back on track with a whacky joke.

The panelists looked healthy and happy, in particular Beau Bridges who looks much younger with longer hair! Everyone has been keeping busy, most with acting and Ben with coaching high school pole vaulting this spring, and football coming up. He’s auditioning and writing, however. Chris Judge mentioned he was supposed to be a villain on the upcoming season of 24 but was “fired” for not being black enough, which seemed to refer to him not looking like he’s from Africa. That got a good laugh.

Everyone was excited by the premiere of Continuum with a few hundred fans on the deck of the US carrier Midway the night before. They are very proud of the film and what it represented, the chance to go to the Arctic and then work together again even after SG-1 was canceled. Several of the panelists talked about what a great experience it was working together over the years.

RDA didn’t do well with questions like “favorite episode” or “hardest episode”. He passed on hardest emotional scene, but then called the panel back to him to say it was when O’Neill dealt with the death of his son (“Cold Lazarus”). He said the kid died, how could there not be emotion? Otherwise he admitted he doesn’t remember what he filmed. But his favorite part of Continuum was filming in the Arctic, and his favorite part of that was that the toilet seats were frosted with ice and that his poop would freeze solid.

Stargate Worlds

The Stargate Worlds panel was next, hosted by the Cheyenne Mountain guys. Brad Wright participated too. I don’t pretend to understand all the lingo, like PvP, PvE, spawning, or arenas versus battlefields. What I got out of the panel very strongly was that the creators are really trying to make the game accessible to all Stargate fans regardless of previous gaming experience. There will be many modes of play from solo to team, from fighting to physics to archeology. There will be social networking aspects as well. Reviewers have said the game is like the 4th generation of on-line role-playing games, and goes beyond World of Warcraft in that it takes the social networking to the next level.

The game will be set right before Season 9, and those events had all taken place in the universe of the game. Playing the game will have the elements of an episode. The SG-1 characters will be there as mentors and gift givers to the player characters. The panelists mentioned having voiceovers, and I asked one of the guys afterward what this meant. He confirmed they will record the actors’ voices for the game! He said everyone has signed on, except that RDA might need some further convincing. This is new information to many of us and very welcome!

They confirmed the game is for Windows only now but expressed sympathy for Mac users and some hope that there could be a Mac version some day.

Stargate Worlds encourages fans to sign up to be beta testers and help stress the game. Their current projected release date for the game is “early 2009”.

Stargate Worlds is clearly a huge part of the franchise strategy this year. They have lots of bling, from tee-shirts to dog tags, and are key to the Stargate booth, which appears to be sponsored by MGM and Stargate Worlds. Oh, and some of the buses are painted with SG Worlds. I sense a pattern emerging.

Stargate Atlantis

The Atlantis panel was smaller in terms of panelists, with Martin Gero presiding and Joe Flanigan, Bob Picardo, Jewel Staite, and Sci Fi VP Chris Sanagustin on the panel. Martin Gero was especially pithy and quick-witted and added much humor to the affair. All the actors were in fine form and very positive about the show.

Answering about the future of the show on Sci Fi, Chris Sanagustin assured the audience that Atlantis will continue, if not as a series than in TV movies. This seemed a very diplomatic answer and did not exactly impart warm fuzzies about the prospect for a 6th season of Atlantis.

In a hint of a spoiler, Jewel Staite said her wish for Keller this season is to make a choice, and she does. I assume this refers to the Keller/McKay/Ronon love triangle, and based on other spoilers, it seems her choice will be McKay. But, that’s just speculation.

Beyond that, Robert Picardo expressed how much he enjoys the humrous aspect of Stargate and the way it sort of winks at the audience, in contrast to the seriousness of Star Trek. He said he feels a bit like he’s been let out of prison.

Joe Flanigan spoke about “Search and Rescue” being a difficult episode for him to shoot because they’d just come back from hiatus and also because he had a personal issue going on during filming [a/n: he might have been speaking about the death of his father, which occurred at the end of February.] He said when it happened, he went right back to work because that’s exactly where he wanted to be, with his friends and colleagues on set. He has moments of intense gratitude for getting to do this work that millions of people wish they could be doing.

Jewel noted that her character gets kidnapped in the woods many times. Martin pointed out that since they film in Vancouver, it’s hard for them to kidnap you anywhere else but the woods.

Everyone on the panel seems very excited about the upcoming Season 5 episode “The Shrine,” penned by Brad Wright. There are insights into Woolsey. Brad Wright’s favorite moment of the season so far is a scene between Sheppard and McKay in The Shrine, on a pier at night. The slashers in the audience cheered the implications of that one.

These are just some highlights of course. Check back for a more detailed report, or since video taping was allowed, it’s likely the panels will be on MGM, Sci Fi, and/or YouTube. We will be uploading a more complete gallery in the next few days, including close-ups from the autograph sessions!

Wright Discusses MGM's Quandary


With the release of Stargate: Continuum less than a week away, the question of what will happen next for the Stargate SG-1 portion of the Stargate franchise has once again been brought to the fore. Will there be more movies, or will MGM, the studio that owns Stargate, prefer that their eggs be placed solely in the television series basket with the much-talked-about third series, Stargate Universe?

In a brief interview with, “Vancouver’s Online Source”, Brad Wright talks about how Vancouver has changed over the time since Stargate SG-1, his creation along with Jonathan Glassner’s, debuted in 1997. Lost are the financial benefit of stretching the American dollar in Canada and many of the filming locations, which have been converted into condo developments. Even so, Wright believes that the film industry will not leave Vancouver, and apparently, neither will Stargate.

Ultimately, though, it is up to the studio to decide which path to take. Wright is preparing a script for a third movie, but no official green light has been announced, and he has already pitched Stargate Universe to the Sci Fi Channel, but the cost of the show might be too high for them.’s Blaine Kyllo said that MGM “wants another spinoff series and another pair of movies” and that “Wright said the only decision to be made is whether to make two more movies or start up another series.” Apparently, they can’t do both concurrently, so MGM must choose. Wright has the luxury to be the creative behind both and told Kyllo over the phone, “All I can do is take care of my own little corner of the universe up here and make sure that we have more product being made and shows being put into the pipeline.”

To read the rest of the interview (which is spoiler-free), visit New on DVD: Stargate: Continuum.

Stargate: Continuum will be on the shelves July 29 in North America in both DVD and Blu-ray formats.

A Little Stargate Franchise Update

The three television/movie projects of the Stargate franchise have recently been covered through interviews posted on the web: Stargate Atlantis, the Stargate SG-1 movies, and the new offering, Stargate Universe.

Stargate Atlantis

Stargate Atlantis title

MGM’s Official Stargate website has published an interview with Paul McGillion, covering mostly his return to the sets as the clone of Dr. Carson Beckett. McGillion jokes a little about there hardly being any differences between the “original” and the clone, but hopes that they will be explored in the future. “The interesting thing is that Beckett had this happen to him, and hopefully the writers will look into that. Because you never know what happened to him, really. You don’t know what special things he might have to offer. That’s becoming apparent in this episode [“Outsiders”], so that’s cool.”

McGillion has returned to the sets for three of the five episodes promised by the producers for his character in Season Five thus far. One thing he has been thrilled about in this new recurring arrangement is that his character is used more to drive the story, making each appearance count. “The great thing is that every time I come back they’re big Beckett episodes. This one, ‘Outsiders’ is a big Beckett episode. The last one I did, ‘Whispers’, that was awesome.”

Even though McGillion is no longer a main cast member, the production has still given him his own trailer, setting him apart as more than just a guest star. “I don’t know what the future holds – I kind of gave up on that when they killed the character,” he reveals with a laugh. “All I know is that I come here and I do my best and hopefully they like what I do. But it’s been interesting – and when I come in they want to optimize the time that I’m here, so every time I come to shoot an episode I’ve got every day of the episode. It’s nice to be that involved. Would I come back and work on this full time? It depends. Right now I’m pleased that they’ve had me back for these episodes and we’ll see what happens in the future.”

To read the complete interview, visit MGM: Close Up: Paul McGillion.

Stargate: Continuum

Title screen for Continuum from AOT DVD

The MGM Official Stargate website has posted another exclusive video featuring Brad Wright’s Stargate: Continuum to their main page. This time, the short video features director Martin Wood as he tells a story on Richard Dean Anderson and how it was to share a hooch with the restless actor in the cold, frozen Arctic Circle.

Visit MGM’s home page, and click on “Watch Exclusive Video Now!” to see “Shooting in the Arctic”.

Future Stargate SG-1 Movies

Stargate SG-1 title

SCI FI PI published the second part of their frank interview with Christopher Judge, and the actor reveals little secrets about the behind-the-scenes life of the Stargate SG-1 family. He talks about working with his fellow actors and how being on the cast with this particular group of people has changed his life. He also talked about the future of the Stargate movies.

Reiterating what’s been said by writer and producer Brad Wright and director Martin Wood, Judge said, “We just screened Continuum, and it blew me away. I went to Brad after the screening and said, ‘ooh boy, this could have been a huge feature film!’

“I kind of think these two movies [Stargate: The Ark of Truth and Stargate: Continuum] were an audition, if you will. I mean, let’s face it, we started twelve years ago, so it was more to see if we were still a viable product, if we still had fan support, and I think they’ve pushed us a lot of the way to finally get to that next level – of doing feature films.

Visit SCI FI PI: Teal’c Cuts Loose: The Ultimate Christopher Judge Interview, Part 2 to read more about Judge’s views on politics, religion, friends, and family.

Stargate Universe

Chevron of the Giza Stargate

Way back in October last year, Robert C. Cooper and Brad Wright pitched the idea for a third Stargate TV show, currently named Stargate Universe, to the SCI FI Channel. They had already talked with MGM about the series, and now both the studio and the network must come to a decision as to whether or not the program will move forward.

Both Cooper and Wright have been very quiet about what’s happening concerning the show, as Christopher Judge told SCI FI PI, “They’re being really really tight about it. And I play golf with them! Brad and Rob have been playing it very close to the vest. But it is a go.”

With such a revelation, it’s very possible that word about the series will be soon to come. Wright, in an interview with, stated, “Stargate: Universe is very much something we have been discussing with SCI FI and MGM for a long time…too long actually. They need to make some decisions. I think we are at the point of finding out soon.

“We know what we are doing and what we want to do. We are excited about the prospect but as long as Atlantis is going strong and as long as there are prospects for new movies, it doesn’t matter to me if my next project is two more movies for next year. Essentially, we would put a third series off another year but MGM wants one. They know the franchise is still strong.”

To read the rest of Wright’s interview in which he discusses Continuum in more detail, visit Newsarama: Writer-Producer Brad Wright Talks ‘Stargate: Continuum’.

[Just a reminder that spoilers are present at these interview links.]

Sci Fi Pi Interviews Tapping, Bridges

The Australian website Sci Fi Pi has posted new interviews with Stargate SG-1 stars Amanda Tapping and Beau Bridges. The two interviews touch on each actor’s acting career, family life, and what it was like working on the two direct-to-DVD movies, Stargate: The Ark of Truth and Stargate: Continuum.

Amanda Tapping

Amanda Tapping as Col. Samantha Carter (SGA "Midway")

Tapping was asked if she’s heard anything more about additional movies, and she replied, “Well, nothing as yet, but we’ve been really bolstered by Ark of Truth sales, so we’re hoping that will sway the higher-ups decisions for more movies.” She also said she’d be back on board “in a heartbeat.”

With her time currently taken up by her new series Sanctuary, Tapping isn’t available to be a full-time member of the Stargate Atlantis cast. And as far as Stargate Universe, the third series pitched by Brad Wright and Robert C. Cooper, Tapping said, “I’ve heard about it, there have been talks about it, but I don’t know any details about it. They’re not talking to me, when they’re talking! (laughs) Everything I know – I read on the internet.”

To read the full interview, visit Amanda Tapping Interview – The Ark of Truth, Sanctuary, and More!.

Beau Bridges

General Hank Landry ("The Ark of Truth")

Bridges had a lot to share about his family and neighbors (including Stargate co-star Ben Browder) and how the business of acting has been a major part of his life. He’s had the opportunity to participate in many interesting projects. As for filming for Brad Wright’s Continuum, Bridges shared, “Well, I didn’t get to go up to the North Pole, but that was quite a bit of a big deal, working in the snow and ice and the submarine. It was pretty amazing, from what I heard. But on Continuum, I had fun doing that. I got to be a General Landry from a different time, that was a lot of fun, I enjoyed that.”

And does he think there will be more SG-1 movies? “Well, I think that even with these last movies, Rob and Brad always leave the door open a crack, to allow for the possibility of giving the fans more. I’ve recently been to a couple of conventions and I’m amazed at just how faithful people are to the show. I wouldn’t be surprised that after these two DVDs come out (Ark of Truth, Continuum) and if they do well, there may be some more. So even though the Ori arc was tied up, who knows what’s waiting out there in space?”

To read the full interview, visit Beau Bridges Interview.

Wright in the Middle of Stargate Projects

Here’s an update on what Brad Wright is doing with the Stargate franchise, some of which has been derived from the recently-published interview he held with the fans at GateWorld as they attended the Creation Convention held in Vancouver this weekend.

Stargate: Continuum

Continuum Title Screen from Ark DVD

Wright confirmed that the first stand-alone direct-to-DVD movie Stargate: Continuum will be released in North America on July 29, 2008. The writer and producer told the Official Magazine recently about working this date around the San Diego Comic Con, which is being held from July 24 to July 27. MGM has prepared for the event by covering ten buses with Stargate ads and by scheduling a panel (like what was done for Cooper’s The Ark of Truth last year).

Stargate Atlantis

Stargate Atlantis title

Wright was kept busy last year with the two SG-1 direct-to-DVD movies while the production of Season Four of his and Robert C. Cooper’s creation Stargate Atlantis was in full swing, but he still attended production staff meetings for the show. He also managed to get in a story idea (“This Mortal Coil”), but didn’t have the opportunity to write.

But that’s changed for Wright this year during the production of Season Five: He’s written the episode “The Shrine of Talus”, which is currently being prepped for shooting. It is slated to be the sixth episode of the new season. The episode has been described by executive producer and co-showrunner Joseph Mallozzi as “a David Hewlett tour de force” that made actor Jewel Staite cry. Wright has written a “tour de force” episode before when he produced SG-1 Season Seven’s “Lifeboat” for Michael Shanks, who won a Leo Award for his performance.

SG-1: Children of the Gods

Abydos from "Children of the Gods"

Cooper and Wright have recut the Stargate SG-1 pilot “Children of the Gods” to make a Special Edition DVD, scheduled to be released by the end of this year.

“I saw it on television, and I thought, ‘We can do better than this,'” Wright told GateWorld. “And it wasn’t just the visual effects—it was the whole thing. It was the way we tell story. It was the whole 4:3 thing. And I thought the score and the music was so heavy-handed. And, frankly, there was some bad writing.”

Of particular concern to Wright is Sha’re’s full frontal nudity scene, about which he said, “It doesn’t belong in Stargate.” That scene has been cut out of the new version, which will run approximately seven minutes shorter than the original.

The goal of the new version is to make the pilot a “movie”, rather than a two-part television episode. “Twelve years on, what is worth making is the movie — the story of ‘Children of the Gods’ that is the movie. We spent a week or so recutting, editing, pulling some stuff out, updating the visual effects in many cases, [and] cutting out things I thought never belonged there.

“We went back to dailies [that were shot in 1997]. We are rescoring. There is new material, but most of the new material is visual effects or scenes that have been cut. It is tighter. It is significantly tighter. The editing pattern is different, and therefore the performances are different. It’s a different movie.”

Stargate Universe

Chevron of the Giza Stargate

Cooper and Wright pitched the concept of the third television series Stargate Universe to the Sci Fi Channel back at the end of October last year, right before the Writers Guild of America strike. Sci Fi has not given the new show the go ahead just yet, though.

“The pitch was received very well,” Wright told GateWorld, “[but] we pitched an expensive series—the idea we have is not cheap. I think we’ve proven ourselves, so … ‘Can we please have enough money to do it right this time?’ And, if not, then honestly I don’t want to do it. Why do it wrong?”

Originally, the show was going to be a stand-alone movie … a Stargate movie designed to bring in new viewers. It is still set in the present day, but is not an SG-1 story nor an Atlantis story.

“The idea of Stargate Universe is that it is set on a ship that was part of an Ancient experiment that was set in motion probably millions of years ago—one that they never saw to fruition, but that we can. They got busy with the whole ascension thing.”

Wright explained that the experiment was “to send a ship across the universe, and to send one ahead of it to seed the galaxies with Stargates, and that they would one day use the ninth chevron to get there [to the ship]. And that’s what Stargate Universe is.”

As to when the show, if approved by the Sci Fi Channel, will get started, Wright said, “Internally, Robert and I are a little bit torn, because we had such a great time making The Ark of Truth and Stargate: Continuum. Making one or two of those a year would be a damn fine thing to do! Honestly, it takes up a big chunk of time writing it, a big chunk of time making it, and then the post on a movie is more than twice as complicated as post on the biggest episodes. So it’s not like you can just knock one off while you’re making a television show. It’s just too much.”

Wright explained to GateWorld that “too much” also included the production of 40 episodes concurrently like what was done with Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis for three years in a row. If Sci Fi Channel does come through with the money, it’s not clear when the new show will be produced, but apparently scheduling considerations will be at the top of Wright’s list.

"The Ark of Truth": Preliminary DVD Sales Encouraging

Cover art for "Stargate: The Ark of Truth" DVD

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 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.”

S10 Cast of Stargate SG-1

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.”


Shanks Talks Stargate and Science Fiction

Michael Shanks

In another interview conducted concerning the release of the first of two direct-to-DVD movies, Stargate: The Ark of Truth, Michael Shanks talked with Brooke Tarnoff not only about the movie, but also about his acting career in the sci-fi genre.

First off, Shanks described how the decision was made to make the two movies after word of the cancellation of Stargate SG-1 was received. “When the show was cancelled, our producers went right away to MGM and we have a great ally in Charlie Cohen there. He’s a fan of the show, which is a wonderful thing to have, somebody who enjoys the show’s success and monetary gain but also watches the show. It’s nice to have that person making financial decisions for you. Sometimes the financial decisions are influenced by the fact that he wants to see it too, so… The consolation prize when we were cancelled was ‘don’t worry, there’s this thing in the future, no promises, but we think this is probably going to happen.'”

That “thing,” of course, was the production of the two movies, about which Shanks was relieved to hear because he had heard of no plans for the dangling storyline to be addressed in Stargate Atlantis. He said, “If it had been left alone, I think been now I would be pretty choked about it, like a chapter of my life had been left unclosed.”

Now that the movies are done, there are still some Stargate stories left to tell that involve Dr. Daniel Jackson. “I’m booked for two guest spots for their mid-season two-parter over on Atlantis this year as just as guest. So Daniel Jackson will be visiting that world, which I think is going to be a lot of fun. In terms of what’s going to go on with the character in the franchise, I don’t know. I don’t know how much franchise is in the tank – I know there’s a another spin-off possibility [Stargate Universe]. I have no idea what the premise is of that, I’ve had no discussions.”

Shanks doesn’t balk at continuing to play in science fiction shows, even after having worked in Stargate for over a decade. “I think sci-fi’s a wonderful medium. I’ve had to read for several parts and come very close to several parts I’d have loved to get – there are certain parts that I read for that I don’t really care if I get them or not – but other parts I read for and I go, ‘why are you so jazzed about this?’ It’s basically sci-fi stuff.”

One of the parts Shanks auditioned for was in The Sarah Connor Chronicles, and he was bummed out when he didn’t get it (the role went to Brian Austin Green). Still, Shanks hasn’t given up trying to get interesting sci-fi parts. “I guess I just like to be part of the things I like to watch, and those are the things I like to watch. Sci-fi is always going to be far and away some of the most interesting and imaginative stuff. It’s exciting to do, because it’s what I like to watch.”

To read the full interview, visit UnderGroundOnline: Michael Shanks, Stargate: Ark of Truth Interview.

Cooper on Leaving Doors Open

Robert C. Cooper

Writer, director, and producer Robert C. Cooper was interviewed by Blaine Kyllo at Cinema Spy about his new direct-to-DVD movie, Stargate: The Ark of Truth, recently released on March 11, that is meant to wrap up the Ori storyline that began in Season Nine of Stargate SG-1. “We’ve never wrapped everything up in a complete package with a bow on it. We really do try and leave doors open all the time.

“If people’s biggest complaint is, ‘But you didn’t answer everything and we still want more,’ then that’s fine. I’m happy with that. We’ve always, even in wrapping up seasons from one year to the next on the show, we try to leave doors open or even introduce new wrinkles that will give us opportunities to revisit or tell new stories in the future. I think it’s almost an instinct, when you’re doing a series, that you want to leave doors open, and even when you’re answering some questions and closing some doors, you want to still have the opportunity to tell more stories. It doesn’t make sense to completely put an end on it.

“It’s not like this is a marketing thing, but it’s one of the things that makes the Stargate universe more ‘user friendly.’ What you have are fans who really immerse themselves in the world, and sometimes choose to write their own fan fiction, or expand their conversations about particular aspects of the series, and I think that if you were to close everything down, and say, ‘It’s over, it’s done,’ then it kind of kills the world. And that’s never our intention. Whether we’re continuing to make shows in a particular series or not, we want people to be satisfied but at the same time we want it all to be open-ended so that a) it can continue, or b) it can continue in the fans imaginations.”

Brad Wright’s Stargate: Continuum is a perfect example of how doors left open can be revisited, especially when it comes to the Goa’uld. Even though the System Lords were defeated at the end of Season Eight, there were still Goa’uld stories to tell. “They’re a big part of Continuum. That’s why I say nothing is ever dead. People said, ‘Oh, the Goa’uld were done and the Ori were in season nine,’ but there were a number of stories involving the Goa’uld in seasons nine and ten. Ba’al was still a significant factor in terms of being a villain in the show, and I think we kept them alive and used what was interesting about them. That plays a huge part in Continuum, which is a bit more of an old school SG-1 story.”

Cooper’s definition of “an old school SG-1 story” falls under his definition of what Stargate is all about: “Stargate is an action-adventure show, so it’s not a drama, but we do try and root it in certain ideologies, and it has always been about the examination of belief and religion. The Goa’uld were, essentially, false gods. They were using ancient religious beliefs to empower themselves, and that was something that, I think, we wanted to continue with the Ori. But at the same time, change the skin of the whole thing and make it look and feel a little different. It’s a little darker take on things. That may have been a reaction to what’s been going on in the world.”

What should fans expect in the Stargate universe in the future? “The franchise … we look at it as a franchise. We look at Stargate now as encompassing two series, two movies — three if you include the original feature — and we’re actively developing a third series [working title: Stargate Universe], there’s an online multiplayer game, Stargate Worlds. 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.”

Even though there has been no official word about what will come next from Cooper as far as the Stargate franchise is concerned, Cooper did feel that the SG-1 cast is more than willing to return to tell more stories. “Kind of like characters on our show, though, nothing’s ever dead. Things always come back. 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. But there’s no deal in place to continue doing that right now.”

To read the full interview, which covers the introduction of Ben Browder and Claudia Black to the show, visit Exclusive Interview: Searching for the Ark: Robert Cooper talks about the evolution of ‘Stargate SG-1’.

WGA Strike Ends, Writers Return to Stargate

The end of the Writers Guild of America strike has been officially announced (see VARIETY), and those writers affected by it have returned to their jobs. Stargate Atlantis writer Carl Binder returned to the studios yesterday with a draft of a script in hand. His fellow workers threw a welcome back party for him, complete with a Valentine’s cake and “Happy Birthday” wishes (see Joseph Mallozzi’s personal blog for pictures and a brief write-up on Binder’s return to the fold, but beware of some spoilers for Season Five).

Hopefully, in the weeks ahead, we’ll also hear of the return of Robert C. Cooper and Brad Wright as writers for the third television series in the Stargate franchise, Stargate Universe, and for the third direct-to-video movie in the Stargate SG-1 saga, both of which have been pitched to MGM. Just before the strike, Stargate Universe was pitched to the Sci Fi Channel, but no announcement of its being picked up has been made as of yet.

Even though Stargate Atlantis lost Carl Binder for the duration of the strike, the remaining writers, Alan McCullough, Martin Gero, Joseph Mallozzi, and Paul Mullie, continued to write scripts for the new season that will be going before cameras mid-month. Thus far, Mallozzi has revealed the names of six of these scripts and teasers about a few others (see our Stargate Wiki for a breakdown of each of these episodes).