Amazon’s New Stargate Series May Already Be In Trouble
Stargate's new series was noticeably absent from the recent developmental slate announcement from MGM.
In a sign that could mean a few different things, but likely nothing good, Stargate ‘s latest series has been left off of the MGM+ programming slate. GateWorld noticed the omission, and even since then, no news has been shared by MGM (the franchise holders) or Amazon (MGM’s new owner). Could it be that the first new Stargate series in over a decade has already been consumed by the Wraith while no one was looking?
MGM+, formerly EPIX, was the most likely destination for a new Stargate series in the wake of Amazon’s commitment to run the service apart from its own Prime Video. MGM+ originals include Forrest Whitaker’s Godfather of Harlem, A Spy Among Friends, Billy the Kid, and sci-fi series FROM. In addition, the television department is working on series for other services, including Wednesday on Netflix and The Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu.
Stargate’s noticeable absence from the slate of developmental programming is especially distressing now that most companies are cutting back on original programming. Even shows that had been renewed are no longer safe as evidenced by AMC and Netflix both cancelling shows after an initial promise of more seasons. Sadly, for the cult-hit sci-fi franchise being an afterthought is nothing new.
Originally a feature film starring James Spader and Kurt Russell, Stargate was directed by disaster film master Roland Emmerich before he relaunched his career with Independence Day. Spader played Daniel Jackson, an Egyptologist recruited by the army, under the command of Russell’s Colonel Jack O’Neil, to help decipher the mystery of the Stargate found buried in Giza. After discovering the Stargate was a gateway to a distant planet, the U.S. Military went to war against Ra (Jaye Davidson), an alien that was indeed the mythological Egyptian God of the Sun.
Following the success of the film, a Showtime series was developed that re-cast O’Neil and Jackson with Richard Dean Anderson and Michael Shanks respectively. Stargate SG-1 lasted 10 seasons and was a cornerstone for MGM during a time when it desperately needed a hit. After season 5, the show moved to the Sci-Fi Network, helping to support the fledgling cable channel in its dark days just before Battlestar Galactica was re-launched.
Two more series followed, Stargate Atlantis (which starred a young Jason Momoa) and Stargate Universe, with each being similar to Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager in the broadest science-fiction strokes. Both shows continued the trend of being successful but not on the level of the major franchises, or even its companion SyFy series, Battlestar Galactica. In 2011, Universe was cancelled, and other than more promises of further films that included a remake trilogy of the first film, very little has been with the franchise.
In moves similar to the recent announcement of a new series, the remake trilogy was announced and promised by creatives involved at the very top of the franchise, including Brad Wright, the creator, writer, and producer of all things Stargate. Wright is the same producer that announced the upcoming television series in 2020, offering updates in the years since, including the return of Shanks, Anderson, and Amanda Tapping. While things don’t look good now for Stargate, that can always change, especially since a summer sci-fi action film was never expected to spawn decades worth of cerebral television episodes.
Currently, every series of the Stargate franchise can be seen streaming on Tubi. While it never challenged Star Trek or Star Wars, the franchise still has legions of followers around the world and is running fan conventions to this day. If Star Wars can get a new leash of life on a streaming service when everything was going wrong for it, then maybe someday Stargate will get a new streaming series that shows the world just how amazing the universe can be.