Former Stargate writer-producer Joseph Mallozzi maintains high confidence that Stargate will be back, eventually. “Stargate will come back,” he wrote on his blog. “It’s not a matter of if, but when.”
Mallozzi joined the writer’s room in Stargate SG-1‘s fourth season, and after would go on to write and executive produce for spin-offs Stargate Atlantis and Stargate Universe. Today he says that production of a new Stargate series is “inevitable.”
“Studios are in the business of making money, and the Stargate franchise was one of MGM’s biggest moneymakers,” Mallozzi wrote this week. “There is no way they’re just going to allow it lie fallow indefinitely.”
What the franchise will need to make a return is the right idea, the right creator, the right distribution outlet — and the right timing.
Mallozzi said that changes at the company in recent years has led to changes in the studio’s production strategy. “That has no doubt delayed things — as has, I suspect, a cautious approach to a relaunch,” he said. And because the Stargate franchise is such an important part of MGM’s library, “they want to be absolutely sure that the series they are going to green light has as much opportunity to succeed as possible. They need to be sure. And that takes time.”
While a fourth live-action Stargate series — set in the universe created by Brad Wright, Jonathan Glassner, and Robert C. Cooper — was too much to hope for when SGU went off the air in May of 2011, the television landscape has changed a great deal in recent years. Netflix paved the way for streaming services willing to invest big dollars in original content. Things have only heated up since then, with new services just launched by Disney and Apple, and Warner Media and NBC Universal about to enter the fray.
The streaming wars are in full swing. CBS has a growing Star Trek universe; Disney+ has Star Wars and Marvel. DC Universe has its own pantheon of comic book heroes, and Amazon is about to debut a new season of the hit science fiction drama The Expanse — picked up from Syfy Channel for at least two more seasons. (Amazon also has new adaptations of The Lord of the Rings and Wheel of Time coming down the pipe in a few years.)
These new players in the TV business are driving the need for new, marquee content, Mallozzi said. “And, truly, what is more marquee than a crown jewel franchise that spawned over three hundred episodes of television?”
So who wants to add Stargate, its 350+ hours of content, and its international fan base to its library?
RALLY THE TROOPS
To help showcase fans’ ongoing interest in new, in-canon Stargate content Mallozzi is spearheading a social media campaign to make some noise. The campaign’s goal is to let MGM — and the executives at potential broadcast or streaming homes — know that Stargate’s 25-year-old fan base is still very much alive, active, and eager for new content.
A new series that is set in the Wright-Glassner-Cooper universe would respect the 17 seasons of established canon, both appealing to existing fans and also giving new viewers and accessible point to get on board.
As with the previous campaign in March of 2018, the organizers’ goal is to maximize participation and get the designated hashtag trending by calling on Stargate fans worldwide to post during a single hour.
Under the nickname “Stargate Superdrive,” the tweet storm is scheduled for Friday, December 6 at 6 p.m. Pacific time, 9 p.m. Eastern. (In Europe and the United Kingdom, that’s 2 a.m. GMT on Saturday morning.)
A second tweet storm is being planned for Europe’s time zones, with its own build-up and launch date to be announced.
A unique hashtag will be unveiled by Mallozzi and the campaign’s organizers 15 minutes before the hour. Participants are asked to use only this hashtag on tweets during the hour, as apparently Twitter’s algorithms for trending topics ignores tweets with multiple hashtags.
Last year’s campaign reportedly saw more than 100,000 tweets sent on its first night alone, with some 76 million total timeline impressions across the platform.
Mallozzi suggested that he is confident that studio executives at MGM will notice when fans make noise, and demonstrate their hunger for a new, in-canon Stargate production.
“The last tweet storm worked,” he said. “No, it didn’t immediately result in a new series, but I believe it did get the ball rolling in that direction. … I like to think that it was, perhaps, one of the factors that led them to finally see the light and realize: ‘Hey, Brad Wright created and oversaw seventeen years of our most successful franchise next to Bond. We really should be talking to him about new Stargate.'”
SEND MORE STARGATE
Stargate’s TV co-creator Brad Wright said back in January that he is working with MGM on developing some sort of new Stargate project. (Watch the recap video below for that story.) But the studio has remained mum throughout 2019 — and even announced the forthcoming closure of its official Stargate streaming platform, Stargate Command.
Where in the development cycle Wright’s project is today is anyone’s guess. The studio has a track record of keeping its cards (extraordinarily) close to the vest, and so we don’t expect any public revelations from MGM itself until the ink is dry on all the necessary contracts. But if Stargate Command is no longer an option for distribution, the looming question is just where such a show — or Web series, or mini-series, or movie, or puppet show, or garage band (we really don’t know) — will end up going.
That’s why another fan campaign makes sense in December 2019. The studio is already well aware of Stargate fandom’s active engagement online. And it’s fair to say that the decision-makers inside the historic studio are also aware of the intense disappointment felt when 2018’s Stargate Origins was followed up by nothing but silence.
So who needs convincing? Likely not MGM (though a loud reminder every now and again can’t hurt), but rather the decision-makers at a streaming service, cable channel, or broadcast outlet who might end up in a room being pitched a new Stargate project.
“Is there still an audience for this?”
Is Stargate an artifact of television history, or a living, breathing franchise that will continue to pay dividends to all its investors?
Gaters, it’s time to get noisy.