We were so close. We could almost smell the new series of Stargate. It was on the horizon ready to come into view.But as I write this I honestly don’t know if we’ll be getting a new Stargate series this year… or next year… or ever!
So as you know if you are a regular to the SciTrek Youtube channel, Hawk Ostby and Mark Fergus, the guys that developed the Expanse, were in line to develop a new Stargate series for Amazon and MGM. They had pitched ideas for the new series and absolutely blew Amazon and MGM executives away with their vision for the franchise.
Contract negotiations started sometime in November and partners to produce the new series and maybe even a movie began. My sources close to MGM said that this was the closest we have ever got to a return of the sleeping giant of sci-fi and we were even teased with a potential official announcement as early as January in time for the launch of the MGM+ streaming service.
But news has now come to me from trusted sources close to MGM that those negotiations have collapsed. Now this is very fluid news and all hope is not yet lost but it is not the news we were hoping for. Penguin in a Parka, Hawk Ostby and Mark Fergus’s production company has close ties to Amazon, they are doing the TV adaptation of Gods of War for Amazon as well as years working with them on the Expanse. So we hoped that negotiations would be simple.
The first cracks appeared apparently a few weeks after negotiations started. The God of War project is planned to be a big project and questions were asked whether the production company and Haw (best name ever) and Fergus had the experience and quite simply the time to do both. Amazon wondered if they were biting off more than they could chew. Mark Fergus reassured those concerns that he would be leading the Stargate project and Hawk Ostby the God of War project.
After those concerns were quelled however more questions started to be asked about the time frame for both projects. Amazon was pushing for an announcement by January 15th, something Mark Fergus was apparently unsure about but they were also pushing for production to start on God of War in weeks rather than months, something that seemed a challenge at least.
All of these concerns were considered normal negotiation problems but then the issue of money started to be discussed. Amazon wants the new Stargate series for MGM+, something we have suspected for some time but had decided that the budget to go with a show for a smaller streaming service than Prime should reflect that and the number being quoted to Penguin in a Parker was significantly lower than expected. I am told this figure was 5-6 million dollars an episode, a maximum budget of 60 million dollars…half what Mark Fergus was asking for.
So where does that leave us right now? Well, it’s a good question and to be honest, we just do not quite know. This may all be just part of the negotiation and further meetings in the new year could lead to the announcement we are all hoping for. We can hope.
However, there are some issues highlighted by this issue that we cannot ignore. Amazon is pushing for Stargate to premiere on MGM+, not Amazon Prime. That is a problem and a further cost if you want to watch the show. Also, we have to ask how confident Amazon really is about Stargate if this is as much as they are willing to spend especially when they just spent a Billion dollars on Rings of Power. Surely Stargate deserves a tenth of that budget?
Wherever we are now I think we will have more clarity soon and we must keep talking, keep posting and keep tweeting about Stargate. We want our show back. We want the sleeping giant of sci-fi to wake.