Unofficial Buzz: Stargate in Stages

There has been some “unofficial” buzz going on about the Stargate franchise from various sources, including executive producer Joseph Mallozzi (in interviews and in his personal blog) and fan reports of actors’ recent appearances at the various conventions around the world. Hopefully, we’ll be getting “official” announcements (i.e., through MGM or the Sci Fi Channel) soon.

Stargate SG-1 Movies

We’ve been given a tentative date for the release of the first DVD, Stargate: The Ark of Truth, by Robert C. Cooper in Joseph Mallozzi’s blog: March 11, 2008. He didn’t want to be quoted for that date because it is merely a tentative one, and at the time of his statement, he qualified this release date as being specifically for North America. According to Ben Browder at Creation’s Farscape Farewell Con, held this past weekend, the actors will be given a premiere viewing of the movie in December. Script coordinator Alex Levine had said in his blog that the final touches on the mix were due soon after the producers got a viewing of the first mix on October 19. (see Solutions Blog: “The Ark of Truth” Almost Ready for Release)

There has been no more buzz about the release date for Brad Wright’s Stargate: Continuum. However, word from Michael Shanks at the Creation Con in Secaucus this past weekend is that Brad Wright is currently penning a script for a third movie. Christopher Judge also mentioned a third Stargate movie during his appearance in New Zealand in October. As to whether or not the script includes Richard Dean Anderson as Jack O’Neill still remains a mystery, but Wright has said in the past that he couldn’t imagine a Stargate story without him.

Stargate Atlantis

According to Joseph Mallozzi, co-showrunner for Stargate Atlantis, the fifth season is already under way with the pitching and breaking of the first half of the season (of a 20-episode season). Mallozzi has stated that the current Writers Guild of America strike will not affect the production of Season Five, and that he hopes that each writer will have two scripts each to work on before they reconvene in January 2008. The writers for this season are the same as for last season, except for maybe the absence of Robert C. Cooper who wrote and directed Season Four‘s “Doppelganger”: Carl Binder, Martin Gero, Joseph Mallozzi, Alan McCullough, and Paul Mullie. Recently producer N. John Smith started working on the director slate for Season Five, and it is possible that Ken Girotti may be added to the list, which included Robert C. Cooper, Andy Mikita, William Waring, Peter Woeste, and Martin Wood during Season Four.

New episodes of Season Four are currently being aired on the Sci Fi Channel on Fridays at 10pm Eastern.

Stargate Universe

Stargate Universe is the working title for the third Stargate TV series and is being created by Robert C. Cooper and Brad Wright. According to Darren Sumner of Gateworld, Cooper and Wright recently pitched the new series to the Sci Fi Channel, and according to Mallozzi, it was a “revised pitch”, meaning that some things have changed from their initial outline. Early versions of the new series’ premise included its taking place in the present and offering chances for current Stargate characters to cross over. Whether or not the ninth chevron premise still applies is also unknown, since we don’t really know what parts of the pitch were “revised”.

More Stargate News from Comic Con

Mary McNamara of Multichannel News has posted her article about the recent Comic Con International held in San Diego (July 26-29) at which Stargate: The Ark of Truth and Stargate Atlantis were represented by panels that included actors, producers, writers, and directors.

Stargate SG-1 Movies

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios continues to invest heavily in the wholly owned Stargate franchise even though Stargate SG-1 was dumped by Sci Fi after a decade on cable. (Sister series Atlantis lives on.)

City buses plastered with Stargate images ran continuously in front of the convention center. At the Sci Fi/EW bash, MGM’s senior executive vice president of finance and corporate development Charlie Cohen said the studio decorated 10 buses and has already reserved the vehicles for next year.

MGM has two direct-to-DVD SG-1 movies in production — Continuum and Ark of Truth — that cost about $7 million each to make, and there are plans to crank out more, Cohen said.

Stargate Atlantis

The Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis panels were raucous, moderated by Gary Jones, a Toronto Second City improv vet who plays the beloved “GateGuy” (Chief Master Sgt. Walter Harriman) on SG-1.

No such event would be complete without a fan protest. When an audience member asked the Stargate producers “what they have against doctors,” the 4,500-strong crowd roared and hundreds of little Scottish flags fluttered in the air.

Earlier, a fan named Michelle from San Francisco had distributed the keepsakes in support of returning Dr. Carson Beckett (Paul McGillion) to the Atlantis cast. The character, a Scot and a medical doctor, was killed off last season.

The producers tried to deflect the issue with humor. “It’s not doctors we have a problem with,” executive producer Robert Cooper quipped. “It’s Scottish people.” Atlantis showrunner Joe Mallozzi assured the crowd he loved Scottish people and instructed them to redirect their “hate e-mail to Rob Cooper. My inbox is full.”

Later, in the hallways, fans dressed in kilts played a dirge on bagpipes.

Stargate Universe

Cohen also indicated Stargate producers are incubating a third spin-off series, based on the “ninth chevron,” a symbol imbedded in the stargate. “It will take some Stargate group to an awesome, complex region of space that will allow for many great stories,” Cohen said.

Stories that MGM hopes will appeal to the fans — OK, geeks — like those that can be found at ComicCon.

To read the full article, visit Multichannel News: At Comic-Con, Geeks Wield Power.

[Thanks to jasonf for the tip.]

A "Universe" with Familiar Faces?

In one of the numerous articles being written about the end of Stargate SG-1, there is a little hint that maybe a familiar face from SG-1 will be seen in the third series, tentatively titled Stargate Universe and being developed by Atlantis co-creators Robert C. Cooper and Brad Wright.

In the article “‘Stargate: SG-1’ signs off, but we haven’t seen the last of it”, Brad Wright offered this about there still being a possibility of seeing a familiar face in Universe:

Wright and Cooper are at work on another spinoff, with the working title “Stargate: Universe.” It concerns the ninth “chevron” — the symbols on the Stargate used to dial an address to another world.

In the new show, now in preliminary stages, “we figure out what the ninth chevron is for, and it sends us somewhere very interesting,” Wright says.

Will it send us there with anyone we’ve seen before?

“It’ll be by and large a new cast, but whether or not a familiar face is in there is to be decided.”

It’s “Stargate,” so never say never.

Which SG-1 characters would you like to see in the new series? Discuss your choices in the Solutions On-Site Forum’s Stargate Universe Discussion sub-forum.

Sci Fi Wire: "Universe" in Development

SCI FI WIRE has an article about the third Stargate television series, tentatively entitled Stargate Universe. In the article, Robert C. Cooper, co-creator of the new series along with Brad Wright, had this to say about the new show: “Not a lot to say at the moment, other than it’s … not the characters from SG-1 or Atlantis. It’s a completely third entity. The third series is born of the mythology that’s been established.”

The Sci Fi Channel has not picked up the series as of yet, since Cooper said, “It’s being developed.” Visit the link to read the entire article.

Visit Solutions’ On-Site Forum to discuss the new show’s pre-production news and speculation.

More Information Revealed About Third Series

Robert C. Cooper at the Vancouver Con

GateWorld has reported that the third Stargate series has a working title of Stargate Universe and will deal with the Stargate’s ninth chevron (seven are used for intragalactic travel; eight, for intergalactic travel). Cooper has also stated that Universe will have some things in common with the franchise’s Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis, including its humor, current time setting, and mythology, but that the new show will be more of a stand-alone, not considered a spin-off of either of its companion shows.

Stargate Universe is being co-created by Brad Wright and Robert C. Cooper, the same team who brought Stargate Atlantis to the screen. The new show will build upon the previous ten years of the franchise’s history, but Cooper says, “It’s going to be a third arm of the franchise that will really stand alone and I think be an entirely new flavor from what we’ve done before.”

Whether or not this new show will allow for crossovers has not been addressed by Cooper or Wright, but Atlantis executive producer Joseph Mallozzi stated in his personal blog, “I’m sure it’s possible for any member of SG-1 or the Atlantis expedition to put in an appearance in the third series – whenever that happens.”

Cooper and Wright have been extremely busy with the two Stargate SG-1 movies, Stargate: The Ark of Truth and Stargate: Continuum, but once these are completed, they’ll be turning their full attention to Universe. MGM is currently putting together financing, with the aim of premiering the series in early 2008.

Join Solutions in discussing the third series in our On-Site Forum and our LiveJournal.