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Special edition of SG-1 pilot episode in the works

Friday - April 4, 2008 | by Darren Sumner

Eleven years after it premiered on Showtime, the Stargate SG-1 pilot movie "Children of the Gods" is going to be remade.

"I saw it on television, and I thought, 'We can do better than this," series co-creator Brad Wright told GateWorld in an exclusive interview today. "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."

"Children of the Gods" picked up where the 1994 film left off, with Richard Dean Anderson and Michael Shanks in the starring roles of General Jack O'Neill and Dr. Daniel Jackson. It also introduced viewers to Captain Samantha Carter (Amanda Tapping), the Jaffa warrior Teal'c (Christopher Judge), and the initially hard-nosed Major General George Hammond (Don S. Davis).

But the two-part episode is not without its flaws -- most prominently a scene with full frontal nudity. In 1997 the decision was insisted upon by the Showtime network, which planned to air SG-1 at 10 p.m., but vocally opposed by Wright.


Apophis (Peter Williams) subdues a woman from Earth in the opening moments of "Children of the Gods."
"It doesn't belong in Stargate," Wright said. "I'm not a prude, [but] this is a family show. It has violence, there's no question it has violence, but it is almost always some sort of 'just' violence as opposed to random or gratuitous."

The special edition will not simply be a new cut, but a complete reworking of the film from original footage shot in 1997 -- plus some updates to the visual effects. Some scenes will be dropped to tighten it up, making "Children of the Gods" about seven minutes shorter than the version originally aired on Showtime and currently available on DVD.

"We went back to dailies," Wright said. "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."


The nude scene, in which Sha're (Vaitiare Bandera) is implanted with a Goa'uld symbiote, remains a controversial moment in Stargate history.
The movie will have a new scene, and a slightly different beginning. It will be cut in 16:9 widescreen for the first time, and composer Joel Goldsmith will also revisit the score.

"Children of the Gods" worked well as a television pilot, but the producer's goal now is to make it a stand-alone movie rather than remaking it as a pilot. "Twelve years on, what is worth making is the movie -- the story of 'Children of the Gods' that is the movie," Wright said. "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 (like the nudity)."

"Children of the Gods" will be ready for a DVD release by the end of 2008, though it is up to MGM and FOX Home Entertainment as to just when it will be available. It could also air in high definition on MGM's new HD channel, or SCI FI's HD channel. Keep your browser locked on GateWorld for the latest news on this exciting release!



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