Representatives from MGM and SCI FI met last month to hammer out and agree upon the overall creative direction of the show, the site said. A first draft of the pilot episode’s script is due by the end of the year — a good thing, considering filming is scheduled to begin in February (story).
The show will be co-created and executive produced by Brad Wright and Robert C. Cooper, who collaborated on Stargate SG-1 and co-created Atlantis in 2004. The two are also writing the pilot.
As previously mentioned by Atlantis executive producer Joseph Mallozzi (blog), several episode ideas have also been pitched. Casting is well underway (story), though its too soon to reveal the actors that will play Colonel Everett Young and his team.
“Brad pitched us the series and its first five episodes and, I have to say, it’s a far cry from the shallow confection many fans are imagining,” Mallozzi wrote last month. “In fact, in many ways, it’s a much more cerebral and mature addition to the franchise. While firmly entrenched in pre-established Stargate mythology, Stargate Universe definitely strikes out in an exciting new direction. It’s a series that will delight veteran fans, but also appeal to newcomers who may not necessarily know the difference between an Alteran and an Asuran.
“In spite of what the indicators may suggest, this will definitely not be a Voyager: 90210. The assortment of characters that make up the character breakdown are certainly an atypical collection of heroes, far-removed from the skilled likes of Jack O’Neill, Samantha Carter, John Sheppard, and Rodney McKay — but there’s a damn good reason for that.”
Universe will follow a young team of explorers who find themselves on board the Destiny, an Ancient exploratory vessel set on a pre-programmed course millions of years ago. The ship was sent to follow up on another Ancient ship sent to automatically seed Stargates across multiple galaxies.
When the team arrives on the ship, they find that they cannot get home and cannot change the Destiny‘s course.
SciFi Wire published concept art from the ship last week.
What is next? As we march into November and work on the script continues, producers will make those critical choices about the show’s main cast. We hope to see a press release announcing those names before the year is out.
Set construction must also take place at The Bridge Studios in Vancouver, of course. The Destiny will reportedly be quite a large set. Construction of the main Atlantis set in late 2003 and early 2004 was reportedly done so quickly and last-minute that the first episode was shot while the paint was still drying.
(Thanks to Morjana for the tip!)