Exclusive – SciTrek has been on the frontline of Stargate news for 2 years while we continue to wait for Amazon to get the franchise back up and running.
For a long time MGM planned to do a series, perhaps a prequel as well. A plan to rebuild the franchise for the small screen even before Amazon stepped in and bought the studio. Michael Wright head of MGM+ was desperate for Stargate to appear on his streaming service as he hoped it could be the show for MGM+ that Star Trek is for Paramount+.
Right up until late Autumn 2022 MGM was working under the assumption that Amazon was going to let them push forward with this plan but then SciTrek dropped the exclusive that in fact Amazon had other ideas. It was another 4 or 5 months until this news hit the mainstream and Deadline reported that Amazon were in fact working towards a Stargate reboot for the big screen… That’s right Stargate was going to be heading back to the cinema nearly 3 decades after the original with James Spader and Kurt Russell first premiered.
So for the last year we have been reporting on the slow progress. Amazon waited for certain management to be put in place first. MGM needed a head of film, MGM and Amazon needed a new head of Film production too. They needed someone to write the script and a Director as well as a big name to attach to the whole thing. Amazon seemed determined to consider every option and debate every decision but slowly we got more and more concrete news that they were making progress and filming would be starting sometime in the Summer of 2023.
Now I know what you are going to say.. Its nearly Christmas 2023 and still nothing. Well you can thank the strikes for that.
The writers going on strike and then the actors following them has completely shut Hollywood down. Everything stopped and even though Amazon had planned to announce the new Stargate movie at San Diego Comic Con this summer just gone, they realised they couldn’t do it. Why? Well for one it would make the company look like they were not taking the strikes seriously if they continued to announce new projects, but also, more importantly, what were they actually going to announce? There would be no script, no writers, no actors signed on or up on stage. There was simply no point.
So we waited.
During all this though something was still brewing over at MGM. People like Michael Wright had not given up on their vision for Stargate and they continued to argue their point. 3 weeks ago we exclusively again dropped the news that Amazon had given them their chance to make the argument and set up a meeting… with PowerPoints and everything!
Now I have to say straight away that we do not yet know what the decision was following this meeting however we do know, thanks to our sources at MGM, what executives pitched. We know what MGM want to do and it is not just a season of TV. It is a whole 5 year plan!
MGM 5 year plan is a follows:
- Convert the existing Movie plan into a mini series to kickstart the franchise.
- Follow this up with a Prime streaming series that will have 10-15 episodes per season (dictated by story needs). There will be 3 seasons spaced roughly 18 months apart.
- Between each Prime season there would be 3 standalone mini-series or seasons of story that will fit into the overall story but still be separate to the main show.
- Conclude this first Phase with a movie (To cinema or straight to streaming)
Now there is a lot to unpack here but let us start with the mini-series to kick things off with. The source that told me about this plan also confided in me that the script for the Cinematic movie was too long. There were suggestions that the film was pushing a 3 hour run time and would need to be heavily cut down to fit the 2 hours run time Amazon wanted. This was happening because the writer simply had too much stuff to cram in to the movie for it to make sense. Its been nearly 15 since SGU left our screens and there was simply too much world building to do. MGM’s solution to this issue? Instead of cutting down the movie and risk confusing the plot, why not let the writer do the story they want and reformat it for a 3 or 4 hour mini-series.
The marketing people would love this for one because they could sell the hell out of a mini-series. It would truly be sold as a massive event on MGM+, Prime or wherever they decided to drop it. They could drop it all at the same time or even release a 4 hour movie version if they wanted. Everyone wins.
Following this mini-series event up with a Prime series wouldn’t then take long and MGM plan this show to be formatted very similarly to SG1. There would be an overarching story line to the series and monster of the week episodes and the intention is for it to still feel like the Stargate we know and love.
Now when it comes to the standalone shows that would drop between the Prime series I am going to have to speculate quite a lot becuase we simply do not know what they are thinking at all2808. The MGM executives did not go into detail on what stories these might be and only really talked about how the format could be used to expand upon the main overarching story line. So we are guessing a little but we do have a few rumors to go on. For one I heard a long time ago that MGM were considering a Stargate prequel series based on the Ancients. Now if you are a Scitrekker you will know generally speaking I hate prequels, i think usually they mess up canon and they never work but an Ancients prequel could make a lot more sense. For one it would be set millions of years before SG1 so it would really take a total idiot to mess canon up, not that there is too much canon of the Ancients too mess up which is another positive. In Star Trek etc so much detail about Kirk etc. is known that when they do a series like Strange New Worlds it is very very easy to step on canon, for the Ancients we know so little it should be easy as pie.
Thinking about this though I have to make the comparison to the first phase of Marvel and how lots of different stories chipped in towards the eventual Infinity Saga. I imagine that is exactly what MGM executives are thinking about with these standalone series to appear between the Prime seasons. It gives writes the chance to show us the wider universe, to shoe us the threats faced from different perspectives.. why not show us a season actually from the perspective of the villain? We haven’t seen that before.
All of this of course is running up to the conclusion of what the MGM team called Phase One of the new Stargate franchise… A Movie.
Apparently they did not specify if this movie would go to the Cinema or straight to streaming, I suppose it would really depend how well the whole thing went, but this movie would be the epic finale to the first threat faced in this new show and to say the least, Gaters would be excited!
At this point though all of this is just a proposal. We have no idea how seriously Amazon took it. They could have just been giving them a platform to say their piece in the hopes it would end the debate and draw a line under the existing plan and to be honest we wont know until we get the announcement probably.
But at the end of the day Amazon is more like a business than it is a traditional Studio and they live by the moto “Give the customer what they want” and every poll we have run is overwhelmingly in support of a series before a Movie. In fact in the last Poll we ran more than 2000 votes were cast and 93% of those votes were for a series before a movie.
So the customer has spoken.
I hope you are listening over there Amazon.