If long-time Stargate creator and executive producer Brad Wright has anything to say about it, the franchise will be back with a brand new show – and Daniel Jackson will likely be a part of it.
Wright teased the news to actor Michael Shanks on his new audio podcast for The Companion, “Brad Wright’s Conversations in Sci-Fi.” Shanks will appear as a special guest in the show’s debut episode, which is set to launch soon. Wright talked about how easy it is to write for Daniel’s voice.
“Writing [for Daniel Jackson] – and I have written you more recently, to tease that – I gotta say how easy it is when you’re writing for a character you’ve written 10,000 lines for,” he said. “I can hear your voice very clearly when I’m typing.”
Wright has been working on a long-gestating Stargate project, which he still hopes will be picked up by a broadcaster or streaming platform – despite the delays caused in part by the COVID-19 pandemic. This new tease appears to indicate that he has at least one script in the works, and that the character Daniel Jackson appears in it.
NOW IN DEVELOPMENT
Wright first announced that he was back working with MGM on a new Stargate project in early 2019. This signaled a creative pivot away from Stargate Origins, the 2018 Web series that MGM put out on its own dedicated streaming platform, Stargate Command. Neither Wright nor any of the TV shows’ creative team were involved in that project, which had a lukewarm reception by fans.
While the studio itself has been silent on the development of new Stargate content, long-time producers of the franchise have given fans occasional updates – at least enough to let us know that it’s still a live possibility. In June of 2020 Wright confirmed on Twitter that he was still trying to get the project off the ground, and he reiterated this in a live Q&A with readers of The Companion last November.
As anticipated, however, the impact of the pandemic on global film and television production disrupted the process significantly.
“MGM and I are working on something,” Wright said at the time. “It’s just too early to talk about. And it’s partly too early because there is a pandemic going on. And that’s kind of ground a few things to a halt. But we are working on something. It’s very exciting. It’s something that we have been talking about for a while now. And I love it — I’m excited to have the possibility of making it someday soon.”
Meanwhile, former Stargate executive producer Joseph Mallozzi told fans as recently as September 2020 that he thought the new show was at least getting closer to a pick-up. When asked just how close he thought it was, he said he thought that it was “five chevrons locked.”
What does “five chevrons” mean? Well, assuming Mallozzi is alluding to a standard 7-chevron Stargate address, that puts development progress around 70 percent of the way there. That doesn’t mean that an official announcement is necessarily right around the corner. But it does suggest that MGM may be pitching Wright’s fully-formed idea to networks and potential streaming partners.
Brad Wright is the father of Stargate’s television universe. Previously he co-created Stargate SG-1 with Jonathan Glassner. Then in 2004 he co-created Stargate Atlantis with Robert C. Cooper, and the two also collaborated on 2009’s Stargate Universe.
After Stargate he created the sci-fi drama Travelers for Netflix and Canada’s Showcase. His three decades in television also includes the 1990s classic The Outer Limits, for which he wrote and produced.
Wright has also stated publicly that his next Stargate project will be a continuation of the universe he and his creative team built over the course of 14 years – and not a reboot. Shanks’ appearance as Daniel Jackson would certainly help to cement that for long-time fans and newcomers alike.
As an original character from the 1994 Stargate movie (where he was played by James Spader), Jackson has played a role on all three previous series. In addition to co-starring in nine seasons and two movies for SG-1, Shanks put in multiple guest appearances on its spin-off shows. He and his fellow SG-1 co-star Richard Dean Anderson appeared in both shows’ pilot episodes, providing familiar faces to help launch the new teams.
Since his time on Stargate he starred in the supernatural medical drama Saving Hope, as well as the Robert Cooper-directed event series Unspeakable. Shanks also recently had a recurring role in the second season of the Netflix sci-fi drama Altered Carbon, alongside The Falcon and the Winter Soldier star Anthony Mackie.
We don’t expect Shanks to be a permanent cast member for a fourth live-action Stargate series, should Wright’s script come to fruition. But with the new project set in the same universe, Daniel and many other Stargate favorites could turn up at any time.
Be sure to catch Brad Wright’s full conversation with Michael Shanks when “Brad Wright’s Conversations in Sci-Fi” officially launches at The Companion. Listen to a teaser trailer for the new podcast here.
“I love science fiction,” Wright says in the trailer. “Watching it, and reading it, and writing it. And apparently talking about it. Over my three long decades in television I have met a ton of talented people. In this series I’m going to sit down with some of them and talk about their careers, share their stories, and take you inside the making of your favorite shows, movies, and books.”
Read more about The Companion and sign up for a free trial at TheCompanion.app. We’ll have more details on the new podcast’s premiere episode when it arrives.