As Stargate fans have worried over the past six months, Amazon and MGM may indeed be ready to turn the page on the science fiction franchise.
Stargate’s television co-creator and executive producer Brad Wright is now speaking of his new series pitch in the past tense, stating that the pilot script is “likely destined to gather dust.” He commented on the state of the pilot script on social media this week, giving the strongest indication yet that he hasn’t been involved in any active talks with Stargate’s new owners.
Wright shepherded the television franchise over the course of 14 years and 17 seasons. He co-created Stargate SG-1 with Jonathan Glassner in 1997, and both Stargate Atlantis (2004) and Stargate Universe (2009) with Robert C. Cooper.
He was brought on to develop a new Stargate project in late 2018 or early 2019. By the spring of 2020 he had a pilot script for a fourth live-action television series, which would have continued the existing canon and introduced a new team — while also providing ample opportunity for actors from previous incarnations to make guest appearances.
When Wright and the MGM team were preparing to go out and pitch the project and find a home with a broadcast or streaming partner, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic brought everything to a screeching halt. Wright set to work on refining his script during the long shutdown. But in the spring of 2021 MGM announced that it was selling the entire studio and all its assets to Amazon.
After Amazon completed its $8.45 billion acquisition of MGM this past spring, fans of the current canon had one remaining hope: that the studio would see Wright’s script as low-hanging fruit, a likely hit that was ready to green-light from one of the TV franchise’s original creators.
Wright’s latest message seems to indicate that he has not been in any ongoing negotiations with the studio thus far. In response to a fan inquiry about a possible new series he wrote: “You won’t hear news from me. MGM did hire me to write a pilot for a new show but that was just before COVID hit. Timing couldn’t have been much worse. All the players have changed in the interim so it’s likely destined to gather dust. Would’ve been fun, though.”
Thanks! But you won't hear news from me. MGM did hire me to write a pilot for a new show but that was just before covid hit. Timing couldn't have been much worse. All the players have changed in the interim so it's likely destined to gather dust. Would've been fun, though.
— Brad Wright (@bradtravelers) November 1, 2022
This is in line with the statement he made on a livestream for The Companion in July, that his pilot will “probably never see the light of day.”
So what are Amazon and MGM going to do with the Stargate franchise? By any account this would seem to be a high-profile property that, more than 10 years after SGU went off the air, is ripe for revisiting. In the current era of the mass proliferation of streaming services, it’s pretty surprising that it has not happened already.
Wright is confident that the studio will eventually do something with Stargate, even if it isn’t his proposed series.
“Thank you to everyone who’s been asking MGM and Amazon to bring Stargate back,” he tweeted on Stargate SG-1‘s twenty-fifth anniversary in July. “With amazing fans like all of you, I’m sure they will.”
On Monday he wrote on Twitter: “MGM/Amazon will make another Stargate. It may just take some time for them to decide what they want to do. But they own it. Not me.”
Broadly speaking, three possible scenarios suggest themselves for the future of the franchise — when Amazon and MGM executives eventually do turn their attention back to Stargate. One is that they could turn to Brad Wright, as a writer and producer who holds 14 years of experience and the trust of the established fan base, and revive the script that has been collecting dust.
The second possibility is that the studios seek out new creatives to pitch a new direction for Stargate — either as some form of continuation of what has come before, or as a reboot of the franchise. (This was MGM’s short-lived plan in 2014, when original Stargate feature film creators Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin were given the go-ahead to produce the first in a planned trilogy of movies. After some creative differences the project languished, and was finally declared dead in 2016.)
Third and finally, if studio execs are not interested in producing the 2020 script but do want to “dance with the one that brung ’em” and reassure fans that Stargate is in good hands, they could ask Wright himself to pitch something different. Other Stargate writers are also still active in pitching and running shows, from Robert Cooper (Generation Mars) and Jonathan Glassner (The Ark) to Joseph Mallozzi (Dark Matter) and Martin Gero (Quantum Leap).
Where Amazon and MGM will come down on this question is anybody’s guess. GateWorld and Stargate fandom at large have been riding the studio hard for more than four years (since 2018’s Web series Stargate Origins), including numerous social media campaigns — all of which has been met with silence. Both before and after the sale to Amazon, MGM hasn’t given any public indication that it has any intention of doing anything further with the brand.
So where do we go from here?
Sure wish a similar series could be created. If stargates or Einstein-Rosen wormholes were to become reality, those rocket dinosaurs Bezos and Musk can be put out of business! Ha. They’re so self-absorbed, no vision forward. Bye now.
How does Bezos or Musk even figure into this??? Seriously? Musk bought twitter, so what? He’s gonna destroy it just like he does with everything else he buys! Bezos, not hearing too much about him. He’s not destroying what he buys. And still what do they have to do with the stargate franchise? Nothing. Absolutely nothing
Bezos owns Amazon and Amazon owns MGM and MGM owns StarGate… meaning Bezos owns StarGate
Knew this would happen after Amazon bought. RIP Stargate.
I think the writing has been on the wall for a long time. I’m most afraid that it will be more of a reboot like they recently did with the star trek franchise, in which case I will probably not watch it. You can clearly see in the new Star Trek shows too that they are aimed towards an euhm, let’s say, different demographic than the one I’m part of. (not to say a younger audience with different tastes than us old geezers). The other option: they just don’t do anything at all with the franchise. Either way, chances are… Read more »
Agreed. I’m starting to feel old because it’s like these dam kids won’t stay off my lawn. And every new show now has to have 27 different, new types of characters to relate to
Just to clarify, I’m not talking about that never-ending “woke” discussion. If you look close enough, there were already topics in Stargate which today would be considered as “woke”, maybe they just weren’t in your face as they are often today, but anyways. No, I rather have the impression that these days, tv-shows are made like fastfood: they go down easily, they might help against your hunger for a short while but you end up with an indigestion afterwards. Like the new Star Trek shows: it’s all action, it looks flashy, the storytelling is so worthless compared to the older… Read more »
If you haven’t, give Star Trek: Strange New Worlds a chance. It is much closer to original Gene Roddenberry style. I thought I was done with new Star Trek shows after watching a couple of episodes of Discovery and Picard, but SNW changed my mind.
I feel largely the same. It maybe cliche at this point to say so but I think older sci-fi shows entertained and sometimes made you think. Alot of the newer stuff is basically telling you how you should think. The action/adventure side of it is so overblown that it becomes boring. Everything story is basically we have to save the universe. Look at ST: Picard. Discovery I tuned out long ago but I imagine it’s the same. These younger people in production only have a ‘blockbuster cinema’ aesthetic. They mostly don’t know how to make a small weekly show that’s… Read more »
Yup, I lasted 1 season of srat trek discovery and thought “hope whomever this is for enjoys it cos it sure ain’t me” And star trek picard was a great example of why Patrick Stuart should be kept away from writing rooms at all costs (I saw as someone who loved him in tng)
The first few seasons of ST:D were pretty bad. I was ready to give up on it. But I have to say they are now getting better. They have some really good characters now like Admiral Vance and better writers. So it is worth watching the later seasons. Still have their mold drive or fungus drive or whatever, which is dumb. Strange New Worlds is the best series. I haven’t enjoyed any ST show like I have that one. It is better than TNG I would say. The Spock character alone is worth watching it. At the end of the… Read more »
The problem is, it’s not that we’re old, its that the Stargate franchise was a product of its time. And we’re going to connect to that more. A reboot is so hard because, they try to impress the original fans but try and get a new audience to bite. But it ends up skewing more towards the latter. The biggest mistakes usually come from ret-conning something or taking the fun out of the series by making it too serious and try to make up for it with flashier VFX. Which doesn’t work half the time or really anytime. I’d rather… Read more »
SGU was an incredible storyline, really wish they would continue it :’(
If nothing else, at the very least SGU needs a finish from Brad Wright. But I definitely want Atlantis finish as well.
Agree SGU felt like it was planned for at least a few seasons it started slow and felt like it was building towards a massive story arc. The relationships and power struggles were on a totally different tact to SG-1 and Atlantis while keeping us in the same Universe. A brilliant cast too. SPOILER ALERT: I think they could keep the SGU series going and rather than try to de-age the actors have an explanation for it like the Stasis Pods were low on power and had to “load balance” in a way that meant the occupants weren’t in full… Read more »
Why not push your idea with paramount that has star trek series ot Hulu, Netflix. Don’t stop because of Amazon failures. There’s a huge fan base like star trek.
Brad doesn’t own Stargate. The franchise is owned by MGM.
Which is in turn, now owned by Amazon.
I was looking forward to the new series, because i love Stargate.
And I was also dreading the new series, because it seems that people cant help but take advantage of the opportunity to push their personal agendas.
Given what we see with TV shows nowadays, I have to imagine that the people in unholywood were going to load the new series up with woke crap, in which case I would’ve refused to watch it. I want Sci Fi, not social engineering.
Exactly. I agree. No TikTok either. That crap makes me nuts.
I can’t say that I’m not surprised by this news. Ever since we heard rumors about a rival 5 years ago, all we got were predictions on potential plots, how/when Amazon will handle the SG IP and which streamer platform a new series could land. Not a peep from Amazon, MGM or anything official (Brad’s pilot script is the closest thing we got to anything official). Sadly, we will likely never see SG again (or any time soon) and certainly not a continuation of our beloved series/characters as we know them. I seem cynical and defeated, but it has been… Read more »
I never missed an episode of any of the Stargate franchises it was awesome man I hate it when it went off the air everybody did it’s still don’t understand why why is there not something out there already it would be so awesome to bring back that show but you will have to have some of the old crew still involved in this or it will not even be feasible fans will not take it you can’t just change the complete cast you have to have some of the original fast and all the shows every one of them… Read more »
It’s only ONE franchise, you mean ‘series’ or ‘shows’.
I only like SG1 through seasons 1 to most of 7 so unless they fix things I wouldn’t watch it anyway. They either need to fix it or do a reboot for me to even watch it.
Since it’s Amazon who made Rings of Power I’m glad they won’t make Staff are. They’ll just make a woke version that nobody wants.
Thank Ra!!! Everything I’ve read on what his pitch was, makes me thankful that they won’t go forth with it. It truly sounded terrible.
Feel like we dodged a bullet the disaster Amazon created with the Rings of Power.
I would love to see this come back
Bring stargate back stop letting us down
Good. It would have been trash. I’d rather have no more than go through another Star Wars sequel trilogy. Or Rings of Power. Or new Star Trek series. Or Quantum Leap. Or– well, you get the idea.
Think folks just relax have no doubt do something, from I heard sounds like Amazon got new blood Frist job do complete listing of all things stargate be cannon to possible many novels out etc. and once finished use that figure the next steps and think plenty of pieces and blanks in cannon write all sorts of stuff frankly thing Amazon studios do pretty good job with rings of power and some conditions placed on Amazon as conditions for creating the new content and sure had very aware that fans of movies that weren’t to be happy regardless because of… Read more »
Whatever happens, lets take a break from religion/false Gods. The Ori were starting to feel derivative.
I don’t want Amazon to do anything with Stargate because they will absolutely ruin it.
I’d rather see another season of the expanse. Sg died when they didn’t continue the Robert Carlyle series (which was brilliant) and Richard Dean Anderson lost interest. I love rings of power so hope the naysayers below meet a go auld in the next life.
Agreed–SGU was incredibly good. Frankly, I thought it was better than the others. Loved it was scifi, mystery, and political thriller all rolled into one. It could literally go in just about any direction. I thought it was darker than the other two as well–think maybe they were trying for a Galactica feel (maybe they even said that).
TV today is broken. 10-13 episode seasons and constant cancellations. I don’t watch new shows anymore. I’m doing an Atlantis rewatch right now and an SG-1 here and there. I love stargate, but it’s time to let it rest in peace.
It is very sad, but maybe if we get new Stargate it will still be his universe he helped create.
Bring me star gate!!!!
Darren do know has Brad Wright looked at putting his stuff in to book form? Like the story revolution. All the work is done in writing the story it just needs to get out there. It’s clear they will never make the revolution move, so why not put it out in story form for fans to enjoy. By the way thanks for all the work you put into the site.
Thanks, Mike! I think the short answer on this would be no, because (a) MGM owns Brad’s script and isn’t likely to pass it off to Fandemonium to put out as a novel (as many of us who would rush out and buy 5 copies); (b) Brad is a screenwriter and not a novelist, and probably wouldn’t have any interest in doing it himself; and (c) it’s always a giant question mark with MGM, and Brad doesn’t like burning ideas that might someday, somehow, hope against hope, have another shot at some kind of production. (That’s also why he is… Read more »
That all makes sense. Thanks for the response!
Stargate is going to be gone for a long time, I’m afraid. Look at the direction Netflix and HBO are going. Big shows are being cancelled like crazy. TV just isn’t what it used to be. We had like a decade of phenomenal TV (2010 – 2020) and now companies are starting to count their pennies again, shortening series, and canceling almost everything after no more than 4 season. Personally, I’d rather wait for a long while (like Battlestar did) to get something of true quality than just get something that probably won’t make it more than 3 seasons in… Read more »
Agreed. I think it’s a toss up as to the future of SG in many ways. Paradoxically, after spending a billion dollars on Rings of Power for poor results, I wonder if it might incentivize Amazon to look for ‘cheap’ properties to exploit. Stargate might fit the bill too well considering they already own it and for some people it might look like a ‘cheap sci-fi’ show to reboot.
I am up for anything Brad Wright writes.
Screw Amazon. Star gate myths were around before the film and series. Someone out there make a show about Babel and the Mesopotamian Gods the Anunnaki, water portals and the Abyss. Sumerian, Akkadian, Assyrian, Babylonian, have someone accidentally re activate a portal that causes a inter dimensional invasion. The greys, the reptilians, nephilim, Greek and Egyptian gods, just make them all literal aliens that look like the ancient depictions. Add some of the space vehicles described in antiquity and Amazon can attempt to sue all it wants as all of that is free domain and can be used for entertainment… Read more »
I wish I had been wrong about this but I’m not surprised. Anyone familiar with corporate politics and how things work in the entertainment industry shouldn’t be surprised either. The most likely fate is that Amazon will farm this out to somebody ‘fresh and new’ because that’s just how things work. The new producers will likely throw everything else out or at best dangle a few overripe memberberries at the existing fanbase to reel you in. Unfortunately, given the current trend in entertainment, you will likely get diversity quotas over good storytelling. All you folks who actively hated SG:U –… Read more »
Right, the hate for SGU was over the top back then. Couple buddies attacked it non-stop back then. Now they’re watching it on Prime and telling me how great it is, and asking me why it was cancelled. Uh-huh.
If amazon produces garbage like the wheel of time series I hope they sell stargate to someone who will give it the respect it deserves not the butchery they did to wheel of time
If that’s what it took for Brad Wright and his team to release Stargate from their clutches, so be it.