All has been quiet on the Stargate front for more than a year now — but The Powers That Be aren’t giving up yet on getting a new project into production inside MGM.
Stargate SG-1, Atlantis, and SGU co-creator Brad Wright has been working on some sort of new project for the venerable sci-fi franchise for at least the past 18 months. He told the Nerks of the Hub podcast in January 2019 that he and MGM were working on something new.
It isn’t clear whether that would end up being a full-fledged television series, a movie or mini-series, or perhaps another Web series to follow up on 2018’s Stargate Origins. MGM’s dedicated streaming platform that served as Origins‘ home, Stargate Command, closed down at the end of 2019.
But today Wright has a single word on the new project, offering a glimmer of hope that he and the studio have not given up on getting it off the ground. When a fan asked Wright on Twitter about the possibility of future Stargate content, he replied: “Trying!”
— Brad Wright (@bradtravelers) June 9, 2020
The sentiment echoes another Twitter exchange he had in March. When a fan asked Wright “What’s next?” he said cryptically, “It ain’t for lack of trying.”
A bit of speculative reading between the lines suggests that Wright’s pitch for a new Stargate project has long been made but is facing unspecified roadblocks. Of course this is common in TV and film production, where some ideas take years to get made — while others get a fast green light but then fall apart before the cameras start rolling. Production is a complicated and expensive venture, and it usually requires not just creatives and studio executives but also commitments from financiers, broadcasters, and other production partners.
After Stargate, Wright created the Canadian sci-fi drama Travelers, which began as an international co-production with Canada’s Showcase and ended its 3-season run as a Netflix original. MGM, meanwhile, currently distributes the Stargate TV series through Amazon Prime and Hulu in the United States. Apple has been hungry for original content since launching its own streaming platform last November, and has been reportedly talking with MGM.
MGM also owns or operates programming content for a number of outlets, including the EPIX premium cable network and the sci-fi friendly Comet. As we said in a bit of armchair analysis back in 2018, any of the above would be a feasible home for a new Stargate series or one-off event.
But we don’t know where the blockage is for Stargate, now in June of 2020. It seems as though there is at least one idea on the table — but we can’t say whether it is MGM, or a potential streaming partner, or someone else entirely who hasn’t said ‘Yes’ yet.
That decision to move forward on a production is more complicated than simply liking a pitch and recognizing the global audience that is hungry for new Stargate content. It also involves scoping the budget, selling to a broadcaster, hiring creatives, setting a timeline, and in some cases even signing certain actors before any announcement is made.
The global shutdown of film and television production due to the coronavirus outbreak could complicate things further. But studios such as MGM continue to be forward-looking, with production facilities starting to open back up and new projects being announced.
Hopefully, soon one of them will have a spinny ring that takes you to other planets. For his part, Brad Wright is still trying to make it happen.