MGM officially files for bankruptcy, plans to keep Stargate

Studio plans to raise $500 million to fund new film and TV series after a pre-packaged backruptcy.

Metro Goldwyn Mayer, the historic film studio that owns and produces the Stargate franchise, announced today that it has officially filed for bankruptcy in New York.  This comes on the heels of last week’s vote by creditors, who “overwhelmingly approved” MGM’s plan to turn over ownership to its debt holders and emerge from bankruptcy with new management.

The studio’s fate is now in the hands of the court, and MGM said it believes the plan will be approved in approximately 30 days.

The pre-packaged bankruptcy will let MGM out of its more than $4 billion in debt, with those debt holders instead owning around 95 percent of the reorganized company.  The other 5 percent will go to Spyglass Entertainment and its related subsidiaries, with Spyglass chiefs Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum serving as MGM’s new co-Chief Executive Officers.

The studio also said that it has enough cash on hand to continue normal business operations during the bankruptcy period, including paying its employees and vendors.

Most significantly for Stargate fans, MGM said that it plans to retain all of its assets during the procedures — and to raise around $500 million in new capital after emerging from Chapter 11, to fund operations “including production of a new slate of films and television series.”

Stargate fans have been waiting in particular for a pair of DVD movies in the franchise, both of which are scripted and awaiting a green light. The end of MGM’s crippling debt and a new influx of capital will be a big step forward — though not the only factor in when SG-1‘s Stargate: Revolution and Atlantis‘s Stargate: Extinction will be made. The studio also needs to be convinced that the films will actually turn a profit — whether in the DVD market or other means it could use to get them to fans.

“For many months, we have been working with our lenders to explore the strategic options available to MGM to improve MGM’s financial position and maximize the Company’s value,” co-Chief Executive Officer Steve Cooper said in the press release. “By sharply reducing MGM’s debt load and providing access to new capital, the proposed plan of reorganization achieves these goals. Having received approval through our recently completed solicitation process, we are pleased that the lenders support MGM’s approach. We now look forward to quickly emerging from Chapter 11.”

“MGM is emerging from one of the most challenging periods of its storied history,” Barber and Birnbaum said. “We are honored and inspired at the prospect of leading one of Hollywood’s most iconic studios into its next generation of unforgettable filmmaking, global television production and distribution, and aggressively pursuing, developing and exploiting new digital entertainment platforms.”

In related news, Carl Icahn — who holds a large portion of the studio’s debt and has been attempting to take over Lionsgate and merge its assets with MGM — will approve of the bankruptcy plan after it makes “certain immaterial modifications,” in MGM’s words.

“I am pleased that we were able to obtain an agreement to make changes to the MGM Prepackaged Plan that allows me to support it and enables the Company to avoid a potentially costly and disruptive bankruptcy process,” Icahn said in his own media statement. Among the changes, he cited a strong corporate governance structure, MGM’s not aquiring the Cypress film library, and Icahn’s right to designate a member on the MGM Board.

Read MGM’s full press release at Deadline Hollywood.

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Nathan
Nathan
9 years ago

This sounds like it could be very good for Stargate. I hope the movies are made. They would sell very well.

Sylvia
Sylvia
9 years ago

*crosses fingers and knocks on wood!*

Alan
Alan
9 years ago

I’m incredibly relieved by this news. Here’s hoping that this helps MGM get the wheels turning in order to get production on the SG-1 and Atlantis movies in motion.

Jonah1956
jonah1956
9 years ago

I hope that the movies are made! I miss SG-1 and Atlantis! I don’t care what they do with SGU, I personally think that it’s a waste of their money.

Jenks
Jenks
9 years ago

I hope this is good news for SGU and the Atlantis movie. While I would like an SG-1 movie too, I don’t think we really need it from a story point of view, whereas Atlantis needs some closure, and SGU’s story is really one that needs a proper resolution when the time comes.

Mentat
Mentat
9 years ago

Just as long as Universe isn’t considered “new”. After SGU I have no interest in their next DVD movies. Me and a whole lot of other former fans.

Gaia
Gaia
9 years ago

Yes yes please make the movies!! We’ll buy DVDs, we’ll go to cinemas three times, whatever is necesarry to see those movies :D

Thenumberthirteen
thenumberthirteen
9 years ago

So Lionsgate may merge with MGM. I’m not extremely knowledgeable on these matters, but don’t Lionsgate own the rights to the Stargate movie franchise? Or is it just the original 1994 movie?

Saquist
Saquist
9 years ago


Indeed, I don’t mind if they keep SGU and end it gracefully but who is really attached to this show but the people who are creating it. Few people are going to miss it. All they have to do is say “SGA is back” and they’ll get back all the viewers they lost almost instantly. But it’s keeping the fans that will be difficult.

Ugly Pig
Ugly Pig
9 years ago

thenumberthirteen, Lionsgate own the US home video distribution rights for the original Stargate movie, but they do not own the rights to the franchise beyond that (that’s MGM property).

Mrs john sheppard
mrs john sheppard
9 years ago

i hope sga movie is made my tv misses joe flanigan!

StarSancFar
KDestiny_Kree
9 years ago

Im SOOOO glad that they’re not axing Stargate :) I DO care about SGU, its fabulou! I hope they make both movies and fingers crossed for more in the future :)
P.S. I would go and see the movies in the cinema!! PLEASE!

Majorsal
majorsal
9 years ago

i soooo hope the 3rd sg1 movie gets made!!! i’ve been waiting YEARS to see the fruition of the sam/jack chemistry turned into a real relationship. will i buy the dvd? YEP!! :p

Natasha
Natasha
9 years ago

Hopefully great news for the SG1/Atlantis movies. Atlantis needs a to have proper closure and it will be just great to have another SG1 movie. Been waiting anxiously for the third film since Continuum. As for SGU ending it might be for the best. Focus on SG1 and Atlantis. Thats what the fans are interested in. Based on the ratings it will be a major suprise if SGU gets a third season anyway.

Browncoat1984
Browncoat1984
9 years ago

Dear MGM, we really want those movies, whether you do them as internet, TV or DVD movies. RE: the lack of a market for direct-to-dvd movies – while yes, the market as a whole may have been a failure, the market for SG-1 and Atlantis is still there. Us fans still love those shows and we will all (I hope?) still buy them, we haven’t gone anywhere. Here’s what you should do: Shoot the SG-1 and Atlantis movies simultaneously, then, instead of releasing two movies, release both as a package at the same time. I’d love to have both movies!… Read more »

Billz
Billz
9 years ago

On the pre-packaged bankruptcy plan: I’m glad that there is light at the end of the tunnel for MGM, even if it is only a small glimmer of it. On the 3rd SG-1 DVD movie: It isn’t really needed since Ark Of Truth and Continuum wrapped up the Goa’uld and Ori story arc simultainiously, but it wouldn’t go a miss either. :) On the Atlantis DVD movie: DO IT!!! Atlantis needs some proper closure. Personally, I think one more season of Atlantis would have been long enough to wrap it up. On Stargate Universe in general: God I wish the… Read more »

Husker75
Husker75
9 years ago

I loved the movie, and liked SG-1. But over time, it had some serious big turds. And Atlantis was such a mess I never even took interest in it unless it was to look at Jewel. SGU is one of my favorite shows on air right now. And it’s great. So how about you leave those of us who love SGU alone and stop trying to KILL the show we love? I may have not loved Atlantis, but I didn’t actively try to kill it and sit here and complain about it all day on forums. Get a life, and… Read more »

Atlantis Rocks
Atlantis Rocks
9 years ago

PLEASE PLEASE MGM, make the Atlantis movie. Any positive news in this quarter PLEASEEEEEE is welcome, so fingers and toes crossed. Been waiting soooo long for something Stargate related that I want to watch, I’ve missed having Stargate in format that I personally enjoy watching. SG1/SGA were one of the few programs on Sky 1 that actually looked forward to watching live. An SG1 movie would be nice as well and I would buy that too but Atlantis first we need a proper ending, or fingers crossed a completely new chapter in movie format (I know that’s never gonna happen… Read more »

Gaeth
Gaeth
9 years ago

: A lot of people would miss SGU. Furthermore, it would actually be worth it, unlike Atlantis. But you already knew that. MGM didn’t cancel Atlantis, SyFy did because its ratings weren’t high enough, & because it was awful. It was the same cookie cutter again & again. If you anti fans want that kind of filler you can just just hit ‘play’ on your dvd. Quit trying to get them to cater to your conformity.

Sgfan
9 years ago

Hopefully we get two movies. But I think Stargate has probably run it’s course like Star Trek TV and films did. Maybe we’ll get a reboot in 5 – 10 years if MGM is still around and if they think it would be worth it. Too bad movie theater deals seem to be an issue with licensing.

Zainy
zainy
9 years ago

Please make the SGA movie. Please, please, please!!!!! I will buy 3 DVDs if I have to.

Sylvia
Sylvia
9 years ago

LOL, I’ll promise to buy 3 SGA Movie DVDs too!

BlueThunder
BlueThunder
9 years ago

This news certainly makes me optimistic, but it’s too soon to get excited about seeing Stargate movies anytime soon. When these sorts of restructuring occur, the focus of the new management will be on making some big dollar payoffs for their investors. I’m thinking decisions about what to do with the Stargate franchise will be way down on their list of priorities. But this is a ray of hope.

High Guard
High Guard
9 years ago

am more interested in seeing SGU get a 3rd season than SG1/Atlantis movies

Smokedalmond
Smokedalmond
9 years ago

I agree with BlueThunder. They are going to try and push a new agenda, breath new life into the company. MGM should have never overextended themselves in the first place. Huge overhead and management failure is what lead SG-1 and SGA into this.

Syfy doesnt have any good supporting TV shows either. Why pay extra for a channel when there is only one show on it that you watch? I have purchased the complete series of SG-1 and SGA. It was more cost effective then purchasing the extra channels from my cable provider :(

Morrolan
morrolan
9 years ago


So, you’re saying that you and others like you are refusing to support this incarnation of the Stargate franchise simply because a series you like was canceled? Incredibly shortsighted and immature.

Jago77
Jago77
9 years ago

Hello everyone , like almost everybody posting on this website i REALLY hope that we get a SG Atlantis movie first (for closure purposes) , then , a SG-1 movie. I just hope that those who make those business decisions do some research on the movie market first (DVD VS Blu-Ray) – personnaly i don’t think a straight to DVD SG movie is a good idea – I think a deal with the networks that air SG-Universe (for the exclusive rights to broadcast the movies soon after they are release) combine with a exclusive Blu-Ray release would be the best… Read more »

Ccadieux
ccadieux
9 years ago

I would prefer the continuance of SGU. It has great potential, needs to keep a faster momentum. More involvement of the SG1 & SGA cast would be good.

Warman564
Warman564
9 years ago

If MGM really wants to start making some money again i think they are going to need to get these stargate movies out and maybe even start looking back into getting there stargate game out.

Jago77
Jago77
9 years ago

Quote – More involvement of the SG1 & SGA cast would be good. Not good but essential/VITAL like it was since the beginnig of SG-U. The Stargate franchise lost a lot of viewers when SG-1 got cancel,then lost more viewers when SG-Atlantis got cancel. One of the most essential/VITAL thing to do moving foward in the Stargate Mythology is starting SG-U with guess apperances from SG-1 team members (well done =)!)& having a LEAST ONE SG-1 member IN the new team( I think Teal’c would’ve have been a great decision). From here on out i think not cutting the SG-U… Read more »

David Slater
David Slater
9 years ago

MGM would be nuts to drop the Stargate franchise.
Stargate franchise is its bread and butter.
just like Star Trek is to Paramount.
they just need to make sure that the story is vard good to most. no show is good to all.
so keep that in mind. :)

David Slater
David Slater
9 years ago

oh and by the way, they should of never droped sg-1. lets face it there was a never ending storyline there. sure it would have to move out the old and move in the new as the show got older but no need to drop it. and to keep fresh writers to keep the story going. just my point of view. that dont mean they still cant come out with new stargate shows like they did in star trek. but they did the same thing and ended the show there as well. but like i said just my point of… Read more »

Dee
dee
9 years ago

I perfer to see SGA back as a series than a movie, but I’ll take the movie if not.sgu hater

Dee
dee
9 years ago

guest apperance from SG1 & SGA would NOT make me watch sgu,cheap shot. I tried to watch, its just a complete boring show, no fun, no aliens, ships, planets worth speaking about, its just flashbacks about peoples lives, who cares about that stuff.sorry just noway around it.

Lutetium
Lutetium
9 years ago

I would buy >3 copies of the SGA movie.

Seriously, there are no words to describe how much I want more SGA. Re-watching my boxed set just doesn’t have the same effect.

P.S. I’m up for cancelling SGU if that frees up resources for the SGA and SG1 movies. You can’t expect us to watch that just because there are guest appearances from SG1 cast. I’d like to think that sci-fi fans have way more integrity to fall for that trick.

Christopher
Christopher
9 years ago

Yeah! Not a fan of the current series. I’d much rather see new movies with the cast of the first two shows.