For the last 8 or 9 months we have been hearing whispers that Amazon were planning a Stargate Cinematic movie instead of a series. A return to the big screen instead of the streaming series we were expecting.
Some of the whispers are just rumor, people talking and sharing opinions but some are a little more solid, some we at SciTrek are confident enough to say we know is happening… as much as that is possible at very least.
Why a Movie and not a series?
Jenifer Salke is the head of Amazon and MGM studios and it is her final decision we have been waiting on. In the summer of 2022 Amazon did accept pitch ideas from several production companies, including Bad Robot, Kripke Production and a few others. They received pitches for a hard reboot, movies, TV series and continuations of the SG1 story line. Amazon listened to all these pitches but one stood out.
Mark Fergus and Penguin in a Parker, his production company with his partner Hawk Ostby, developed the Expanse for Amazon. Fans of that show will praise them for their scripts and vision but when the Expanse ended Amazon executives asked what they would like to do next… Mark Fergus answered… STARGATE.
Now we know Mark Fergus has done some work for the project already including producing a Bible, a series of histories and do’s and don’ts that whoever was then picked the make the show would need to follow. We then know there was 2 or 3 months or negotiations between Penguin in a Parker and Amazon/MGM but those discussions became a little strained around Christmas. Now I hear they were professional and productive discussions but Mark Fergus did become a little frustrated that Amazon could not seem to make a decision about how to move forwards. they had budget proposals for a series, story lines were being mapped out, some actors had even been tentatively approached but all this work meant nothing if Amazon did not make a decision.
So conversations ended at Christmas 2022 and we are not sure if they restarted or not.
New year… new PLAN
Now we had started to hear the Movie rumored at the end of 2022 but at some point in late January early February 2023 those whispers became shouts. It was going to be a Movie one source told us, then another and another.
We asked our audience, “Do you want a Stargate Movie or a series” and 90% said a series. “A movie is a risk” they said, “what if it fails at the box office?” and anyway we want “10 hour series at least not a 2 hour movie!”.
Other channels started picking up on the movie plan too and they asked their audience the same things and they got the same answer… WE WANT A SERIES!
Amazon though had a simple plan. Traditionally if you are kickstarting a franchise you start in the movie theatres right? And Amazon want to be a big serious studio so they need movies in the cinema to be taken seriously. Afterall it is why they spent all that money buying MGM in the first place. Jenifer Salke looked at the 1 Billion Dollars a year Amazon have already budgeted for new straight to Cinema movies and decided that Stargate was going to be one. The money is there, the development work is on track, it makes sense… right?
Well its not what the fans want I would say is the first problem and I think we can argue about whether the Cinema has the same draw today that it once did so maybe the plan is not as water tight as Amazon thinks… but time will tell.
In late March early April though the trigger was pulled and a new Stargate movie was ordered by Jenifer Salke. A simple memo to the new head of ‘MGM and Amazon film Streaming and Theatrical’ Courtney Valenti around this time authorised work to begin on the Robocop reboot and Stargate.
Now with Peter Oilltaguerre joining as head of Feature Film Production too, MGM and Amazon has the team in place it wants to start becoming a real force in the world of the Cinema as well as streaming.
The last thing that we know for certain is that Amazon were ready to announce their intentions at San Diego Comic con this year. They had a rough idea how they were going to announce it to but never went further than that. In march this year, a couple of months before the Comic Con executives at Amazon decided against plans. They had discussed the options with a few PR companies and internally and they decided there was simply no upside to the announcement. The chances are it would make them look like the heartless company many suspect they are and after a few recent negative headlines about other productions…Rings of Power for example… it was decided that announcing it during the strikes would cause a backlash, putting the project into a negative light before its even made. Also though what would they even be announcing and how? No actors would join executives up on stage and even if they did you cant film anything or even write anything while all the actors and writers are on strike.
So it was the logical decision, don’t announce it just yet. Does that mean nothing is moving forwards though? Maybe… maybe not… but for that we are moving into the area of rumor, and that’s for another article.