Ever since Amazon finalized its $8.5 billion acquisition of MGM in March 2022, sci-fi fans have been hoping that some sort of a Stargate reboot will be officially announced. But when premium cable and streaming service MGM+ (formerly Epix) announced its current development slate in January 2023, longtime followers of the military sci-fi franchise were disappointed to know that not a single Stargate project was not included on the list. But everything changed three months later when it was revealed that Stargate is reportedly one of the many MGM properties that Amazon is set to reboot.
Is Stargate getting a reboot?
According to an exclusive report by Deadline in April 2023, Amazon is working on several projects based on a number of classic MGM properties, including Robocop, Legally Blonde, Fame, Barbershop, The Magnificent Seven, Pink Panther, The Thomas Crown Affair, and Stargate.
Deadline claimed that A-list creative auspices have already reached out to Amazon to ask about reviving MGM properties they love. But the news outlet noted that Amazon Studios has been leaning on its own lineup of creative talents for some of these projects.
While details about these revival projects are scarce, Deadline pointed out that each property is being approached differently. Some are being steered toward movies, others toward TV, and the most popular ones are getting both movie and TV treatment.
Sources told Deadline that both film and TV installments are being considered for Stargate, with a film likely going first.
What is the Stargate reboot about?
While Amazon and MGM have yet to officially greenlight a Stargate reboot, it was reported in 2018 that Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis, and Stargate Universe co-creator Brad Wright was approached by MGM to develop a fourth Stargate series. Wright confirmed this in 2020, noting that the show he was developing would be a continuation of the first three TV series and not a reboot. In fact, in a series of podcasts in the first half of 2021, Wright revealed that the pilot script for the potential fourth Stargate show includes Stargate SG-1 characters Daniel Jackson (Michael Shanks), Cameron Mitchell (Ben Browder), Samantha Carte (Amanda Tapping), and Jack O’Neill (Richard Dean Anderson), with the hope that the original stars return in some capacity to their respective roles.
The cast of Stargate SG-1
But in 2022, Wright began to think that the potential fourth Stargate series that he developed might never happen, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic and MGM’s restructuring after it was acquired by Amazon.
“You won’t hear news from me,” Wright replied to a fan asking for updates about the new Stargate project. “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.”
Although Wright co-created Stargate SG-1 with Jonathan Glassner, and both Stargate Atlantis and Stargate Universe with Robert C. Cooper, he acknowledges the possibility that Amazon and MGM may be planning to expand the franchise without his involvement. After all, Stargate’s IP is owned by them and not by him.
“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,” he tweeted in 2022.
Cooper’s sentiments have been echoed by Joseph Mallozzi, a producer on every Stargate series. When asked about the prospect of a Stargate reboot, Mallozzi wrote multiple times on Twitter that there had been “no involvement from any of the original creatives so [there’s] really no way of knowing what the show will be like, whether it will be a complete reboot or just something totally tonally different from previous shows.”
Interestingly, however, Roland Emmerich, the director of the first Stargate movie, said in February 2022, that he would be part of any future Stargate project. “If they go back to a [Stargate] movie and a series of movies, yes, I will be involved. I have to be involved because it’s in my contract,” said Emmerich at the time.
The future of Stargate
According to GateWorld.net, Amazon and MGM have three possible scenarios for the future of the Stargate franchise. The first one is to still turn to Wright and revive the pilot script he wrote for a potential fourth Stargate series. The second one is to abandon the pilot script that Wright had written and asked him to create a new one. The third and last scenario is to seek out new creatives to pitch a new direction for Stargate — either as some form of continuation of the movies and TV series that come before or as a complete reboot of the franchise.
According to The Popcast, The Expanse creators Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby have expressed interest in taking the reins of a new Stargate show, which could be a Stargate reboot, a sequel, or a spinoff centering on less popular yet iconic characters from the franchise. However, according to Sci-Trek, Fergus wants 100 million to do 10 episodes of a new Stargate series but Amazon was willing to only go up to 50 million. This hurdle appeared to have made Amazon reassess its plans to reboot Stargate.
TV and marketing veteran Jenny Stiven revealed in an interview with the YouTube channel Dial the Gate that Amazon has three ways Amazon can go about rebooting Stargate. One of those ways is to start with a Stargate film and then go into a series. This makes a lot of sense, as Amazon recently committed to making eight to 10 films per year, and with Stargate originally starting out as a film, this method could successfully revitalize the franchise.
The second way is to kick off with a series and take advantage of the canon from the original TV show to expand the Stargate universe, perhaps utilizing a variety of characters who may or may not be associated with the original characters while honoring the universe that came before.
The third option is to start with a fresh cold reboot that will possibly throw a nod at Brad Wright and Roland Emmerich’s works and then move forward with something new that they want to do.
Stiven said that Amazon wants to go with option one, with the third option being the least likely, as the studio does not want to cut off the fanbase.
Although Amazon has yet to officially announce a new Stargate, Stiven said that it remains one of Amazon and MGM’s top five IPs and that they really want to turn it into a tentpole franchise like Star Wars and Star Trek.
Stiven strongly believes that a Stargate reboot or a sequel will happen soon, especially now that a number of behind-the-scenes Stargate supporters from before now hold key roles at Amazon. Some of these Stargate allies are Chis Ottinger, Chris Brearton, and Michael Wright.
Ottinger, MGM’s former head of worldwide distribution and acquisition was recently brought into the Amazon fold. Brearton, meanwhile, was recently assigned to oversee MGM’s unscripted TV and MGM’s streaming service. He also holds the role of VP of corporate strategy for Prime Video and Amazon Studios. Lastly, Wright is now the head of MGM+
According to Stiven, all three executives are reporting directly to those people that will make decisions on what content is going to be made for Amazon and MGM. Stiven knows that all three supported Stargate when she was still at MGM and has heard that they still support the franchise today.
About the Stargate franchise
The Stargate franchise is based on the film directed by Roland Emmerich, which he co-wrote with producer Dean Devlin. The franchise is based on the idea of an alien Einstein–Rosen bridge device (the Stargate) that enables nearly instantaneous travel across the cosmos. The franchise began with the 1994 film Stargate, which grossed $197 million worldwide.
In 1997, Brad Wright and Jonathan Glassner created the TV series Stargate SG-1, which serves as a sequel to the film. This show was later joined by the companion series Stargate Atlantis in 2004, Stargate Universe in 2009, and a prequel web series, Stargate Origins, in 2018.
The franchise also includes a variety of books, video games, and comic books, as well as the direct-to-DVD movies Stargate: Children of the Gods, Stargate: The Ark of Truth, and Stargate: Continuum, which wrapped up Stargate SG-1 after 10 seasons.
Where to watch Stargate
The TV series Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis, and Stargate Universe are all streaming on Amazon Prime Video. The 1994 movie Stargate, meanwhile, is available to stream on The Roku Channel and Pluto TV.
The direct-to-DVD movie Stargate: The Ark of Truth (2008) is currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video, Fubo, Paramount+, MGM+, The Roku Channel, and Pluto TV. The direct-to-DVD film Stargate: Continuum, which was also released in 2008, is available to stream on Fubo, Paramount+, MGM+, The Roku Channel, and Pluto TV.