Proving that you can’t keep a good franchise down — at least not for more than a day or so — the SCI FI Channel has green-lit production on Stargate Universe, the third live-action television series, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The official press release from MGM and SCI FI is expected later today.
Universe will have a 2-hour premiere in 2009, and land in a regular time slot next summer — meaning there will not be a production gap between the second and third Stargate television series.
The trade magazine also reported that the show will be set on board a previously unmanned ship called the Destiny, and will involve more space-based action than its predecessors. “Unable to return to Earth, the crew must fend for themselves aboard the ship, which has a preprogrammed mission taking them to the far reaches of the universe,” the magazine said.
The producers are reportedly looking to cast a known actor for one of the leading roles, and fresh faces to round out the cast. This would follow the pattern of SG-1, which earned a lot of marketability from leading man Richard Dean Anderson when it premiered in 1997, rather than the largely unknown cast of Atlantis.
The new series will also be aimed at a slightly younger audience, SCI FI president Dave Howe said.
“This is an opportunity to reinvent this franchise and make it relevant to a new generation,” he said. “We really don’t want to be more of the same. It’s going to build clearly off the existing franchise but with a cast that gives it a younger vibe.”
“In Universe, we plan to keep those elements that have made the franchise a success, such as adventure and humor, while breaking new ground in the relationships between mostly young and desperate explorers, thrust together and far from home,” series co-creators Brad Wright and Robert C. Cooper said. “Above all, we believe the Stargate itself remains an enduring icon with infinite potential as a jumping-off point for telling stories.”
Wright and Cooper will also executive produce. The two created Stargate Atlantis, which will end its TV run in January (story). An Atlantis movie will also air later in 2009 on SCI FI — hopefully the first of many.
There is more news to come, so stick with GateWorld for breaking news on Stargate Universe later today!
(Thanks to SGAsgard, Morjana, and Lou Zucaro for the tip!)