In 2019 Stargate fans went into a frenzy as MGM revealed that they had commissioned Brad Wright to write a pilot script for a new Stargate series. It was the news we had been waiting for and for once it felt like we actually might get what we were asking for.
What happened to the Stargate reboot?
Well we had a little world wide pandemic, I am sure you remember, that put MGM’s plan on pause but we still had hopes that Brads vision would still become a reality. However then Amazon but the studio and it our sources began to tell us at Scitrek that Amazon did not want Brad Wright for Stargate!
Now when we revealed this exclusively Gaters were dismayed and even went as far as demanding that we were lying or making it up… we at the channel only wished we had made it up as they rumors slowly became louder and louder. Eventually even the most loyal Brad Wright fan realised that it was true and that Amazon really were going to go with someone completely different.
So who would be show-running a new Stargate show?
Well we found out on the channel that Amazon were in fact asking for production companies to pitch their ideas for a new show or movie back in the summer of of 2022. We found out that Bad Robot had pitched not once, but twice. We found out that the company behind Amazons hit show The Boyz had pitched and we exclusively told you the the company behind The Expanse, Hawk Ostby and Mark Fergus had also pitched. In fact Mark Fergus was asked by Amazon when The Expanse ended, “what would you like to do next?”. And Mark answered… STARGATE!
Eventually it seemed that in fact Mark Fergus did win the pitch battle and was picked to begin development work on the new franchise. He was asked to produce a Bible for the show, a set of histories and rules to follow, setting out canon for the new series. We were able to follow this story thanks to our sources and discovered that Mark Fergus’ company, Penguin in a Parker, was negotiating with Amazon to take the reigns of the project.
So what was the problem?
Well we also found out that those negotiations ended just before Christmas 2022 and we don’t know if they ever restarted. At the time it seemed the main issue was that Amazon could not decide what they wanted to do with the franchise, did they want to do a TV series or a Movie, where were they going to premiere whatever they decided to do, what would the budget be etc. It seems now that they have however decided that a Movie was the plan and this was confirmed by Deadline in April this year.
Now you have to understand something at this point. Amazon don’t have a problem with Brad Wright or his work. We did hear that Amazon were pushing MGM to think a lot bigger with their plans back before the sale, back when Brad was writing a script for MGM. That was not the problem though. The problem was that generally speaking, Amazon don’t make movies or TV shows on their own. In fact until very recently they couldn’t.
There is a very simple reason for this. Amazon didn’t own any studio space. And because Amazon have to make TV shows and Movies with a partner studio, they simply could not even consider using Brad Wright… they needed to use someone a studio would work with.
That has changed now though thanks to their relationship with a company called the Hackman Group. This company is the largest owner of privately owned studio space in the world. They own studio space literally all over the world and are redeveloping or building new studio space constantly. In the next year they plan to open more than 100 new studios in the USA, Europe and Asia.
And Amazon has already got 6 studios built by them… and plan to have a lot more by the end of 2024.
So a year ago when they started to plan the return of Stargate Amazon were going about planning like they always had, they were looking for a studio partner to make the project with. They were looking to Warner Bros. or Sony, companies that own their own studios and that could make the show for Amazon. The long term plan for Amazon was to get more studios and slowly start to make stuff for themselves but that was always in the future.
So what changed?
The strikes happened!
The Writers and Actors going on strike was expected but really the Studios probably did not think it was going to be this bad. The WGA going on strike was seen as inevitable but it really was hoped, especially after a deal with the Directors union was struck, that a strike from the actors could be avoided. But Amazon is a business and they plan ahead.
Back in March they decided that all their major projects with MGM… Robocop, Bond, Rocky and Stargate would be paused and not announced as planned, in fact a plan was in place to announce Stargate at San Diego Comic con (another exclusive on Scitrek). There was a plan to have some of the original actors on screen, to have an exciting teaser trailer etc but none of these plans were ever put into action. Instead Amazon decided to accelerate its plans to go it alone and become the big studio in has always had ambitions to be.
At the moment you see studios like Apple, Amazon and even Netflix are not taken very seriously by the big studios like Paramount and Warner Bros. in Hollywood. They are “streaming” studios like streaming is a dirty word. Amazon want to be seen as a real grown up studio, this is a big reason why they bought MGM in the first place. But to become a big, serious, studio they have to make content for themselves. Not make their movies with the help of Sony etc.
In a way thanks to the strikes and the time to pause and consolidate plans, Amazon now have the chance to do just that and make movies and TV series from scratch with no outside help.. or interference.
So why is this good for Brad Wright?
Well as one of the main reasons for not bringing Brad Wright in at the beginning was that Amazon needed to work with a partner and that meant having Brad, who is not connected to any studio or production company, is becoming less and less a problem.
Also Brad continues to have big allies at MGM.
Michael Wright (head of MGM+) and Lindsay Sloan (head of scripted material MGM and Amazon Studios) have both been very vocal about their support not only for Brad Wright, but also for his vision. Our sources tell us these executives have been arguing for Brad Wright to be put in charge of a new TV series, probably for MGM+ in the USA and Prime internationally. They argue that now Amazon does have the capacity to produce the series on their own, through MGM and that is not only the simplest solution but also the most sensible because of the Rings of Power PROBLEM!
When Rings of Power was released there had already been months of negative Youtube vides and general press. There was anger from all direction for lots of reasons and Amazon have come to realise that this really hurt the show before it even premiered. They are scared that this could happen again. Stargate is a seriously loved TV franchise and fans will be very concerned that the show may get wrecked like so many other shows have recently. Michael Wright and Lindsay Sloan make the simple argument… If we bring back Brad fans will cheer us on, if we don’t they wont. If anyone but Brad is running the project the truth is there will be negativity thrown at the project before it is even made and Amazon can’t afford the Rings of Power to happen again.
Now we just don’t know if the people arguing for Brad Wrights return will win through or not. As of today I can tell you that Brad Wright has not been approached and that there are no plans to that we, or any of my sources, are aware of. But there are voices at MGM that are telling Amazon bosses very loud and very clear… WE WANT BRAD… and we say most the fans agree.
So Amazon the decision is simple. If you really want to make the fans happy and to avoid the negativity then you have a very simple phone call to make… to Brad Wright!