News Archive for the tag 'james bond'

Nov 13 2010

Stargate Worlds Studio Looses Licence

Published by under Games

Stargate Worlds” was announced as an upcoming MMO from Cheyenne Mountain Entertainment back in 2006, thanks to a deal with MGM Studios. Despite winning a court fight over SG assets, however, CME has lost their license to develop anymore SG games. They managed to rush out “Stargate Resistance,” but “Worlds” doesn’t look like it’s going to be quite as fortunate.

 

MGM has terminated the license they granted to CME in 2006, according to an East Valley Tribune report. The development comes as a blow amid many other struggles for the Arizona-based company, who just won a court ruling agreeing that they could reclaim SG assets for both “Worlds” and “Resistance.” The ruling came in response to a fraud complaint CME investors filed against Dark Comet Games and Fresh Start Studios, which were formed by ex-CME employees to continue developing their SG projects. All of this has occurred under the shadow of CME’s own bankruptcy procedures.

MGM issued a notice of termination on November 3, Cheyenne Mountain chairman and CEO Gary Whiting told the EVT. They’ve famously had there own bankruptcy troubles to deal with, which have impacted both the development of Peter Jackson’s “Hobbit” movie and the James Bond franchise.

Oct 09 2010

Mgm Announces Bankruptcy Filing Protection

Published by under News

Hollywood film studio Metro Goldwyn Mayer has begun plans to file for bankruptcy protection in an effort to rid itself of $4bn (£2.5bn) of debts.

The company behind the James Bond films wants more than 100 of its creditors to agree plans to enter chapter 11 bankruptcy while it restructures.

Creditors will get a 95% stake in the company as part of the deal.

Chapter 11 allows MGM to operate as normal, but money troubles have held up production of new 007 and Hobbit films.

The bankruptcy plans follow months of speculation over the future of MGM, which has struggled with large debts, a lack of blockbuster film releases, and a downturn in DVD sales.

Earlier this year, the studio put itself up for sale, but failed to find suitable bidders.

As part of the plans, the privately-owned production company Spyglass Entertainment will merge two of its subsidiary businesses into a subsidiary of MGM to create the new MGM company.

Spyglass will then own the remaining 5% of the new business, with its senior management taking charge.

Creditors have until 22 October to approve the plan.

Aug 22 2010

Robert Carlyle Playing Adolf Hitler Was My Toughest Role

Scottish actor Robert Carlyle says playing Adolf Hitler in the epic mini-series Hitler: The Rise of Evil has been his toughest role to date.

The star of hit movies including The Full Monty, Trainspotting and James Bond’s The World Is Not Enough told Yahoo! Singapore in an exclusive interview that it was extremely difficult to witness the reaction of the film crew when he was portraying the leader of the German Nazis in the 2003 TV mini-series.

“A lot of the crew working on set were Jewish and a lot of stuff were anti-Jewish, anti-semantic. I had to say all those stuff and I would spot some of the crew’s reactions. I know it’s not me but it’s really hard for them to accept,” said the 49-year-old, who was born in Glasgow, Scotland.

But the veteran actor said he made it a point to speak to his Jewish colleagues right after the scene was shot.

“I went down to embrace them and they were like, don’t worry, its fine. But it wasn’t fine, you know,” he said.

You can watch his riveting portrayal of Hitler here.

Aug 22 2010

MGM Still Battling For Survival One Year Later

Published by under News

It’s been more than a year since the once might MGM studios Inc announced it had debt problems. So far no-one has come forward to rescue this once mighty media empire especially considering a large $400 million bill comes due next moth, and there seems little hope that it will be paid without yet another delay.

That has led trade publication The Hollywood Reporter to speculate that at least one of the film studio’s 100 or so lenders could force it into bankruptcy.

If that happens, there’s no telling what could happen to some of MGM’s Bond key properties, and not just James Bond and “The Hobbit” — but also its Stargate properties like Syfy’s “Stargate: Universe.”

“It’s kind of become a joke,” one unnamed executive told The Hollywood Reporter, who is considering some sort of partnership with MGM. “There is a real fatigue among the lenders after all” the delays — six in all — to pay down $250 million from a revolving loan that is due, along with $200 million in related interested payments.

If another delay isn’t granted, or if any of the lenders get fed up with what’s happening, any of them can file an involuntary bankruptcy petition with the courts to put the fate of MGM in a judge’s hands. Typically, involuntary bankruptcies are hard to push through. But considering the amount of money and the number of lenders involved in the current MGM debacle, it might be easier than anticipated.

But there is a lot of question marks surrounding what would happen to MGM’s assets if a judge were in charge of restructuring. Typically, the best way to pay off debt is through liquidation, meaning the studio’s prized assets like James and Stargate would be auctioned off, or sold through deals with lenders.

Any such restructuring and sale of assets would almost mean certain death for MGM which was founded in 1924, and mean a messy situation would turn into a disaster with key properties like James Bond, “The Hobbit” and Stargate, suffering significantly.

Apr 30 2010

MGM Finanical Woes A Possible Threat To Stargate Universe

Published by under News

It appears James Bond might not be the only franchise hurting in light of MGM Studios’ recent financial woes. According to Airlock Alpha, who spoke to an unnamed source, the cast and crew of Stargate: Universe know that their number could be up next. Though in Vancouver for the Syfy Channel, Stargate: Universe is still an MGM production.

Said the source, who works on the show, “We come in, do the best job we can, but in the end, we could be out of work tomorrow simply because of something that’s totally out of our control.”

But just because the producers decided to ditch plans for a third Bond film in the wake of MGM’s failure to find a buyer to take over the studio’s debt, doesn’t mean that Stargate: Universe is necessarily facing the same demise. Though MGM faces the daunting debt of $3.7 billion, the fact that the show is already on its second season and is part of a successful TV franchise, spells a faster return on investment than putting millions upon millions into the next Bond film might.

Apr 10 2010

Robert Carlyle A Man Alone On Board The Destiny

Published by under Interviews

How would you react if you were told you could never go home again? That’s the situation the heroes of Stargate Universe are faced with when they are marooned in deep space, a long way from Earth. Naturally, the news is a difficult pill for everyone to swallow—except for Dr. Nicholas Rush. The scientist seems oddly content with the prospect of spending the rest of his days in strange, and often dangerous, surroundings. Why does he feel this way, and, more importantly, what is his real agenda? No one knows for sure, including Rush actor Robert Carlyle. “Dr. Rush is certainly a complex individual,” says Carlyle. “You’re never sure what his motives are, and to be honest with you I don’t know what’s happening with the character either.

Brad Wright and Robert Cooper [Stargate Universe creators and executive producers] are obviously telling me everything I want to know, but I’d rather not know it all, which is how I’ve worked over the years. When you know how your character is going to end up, you’re tempted to play his heroic side.

In fact, what you should be doing is playing the moment and each scene as it is, which is fresh. Just like you shouldn’t look too far ahead in your [real] life, you shouldn’t look too far ahead in your acting life. “So with Rush you have this man who’s driven by something. What we know so far is that he’s been married, but his wife is dead. The fact that he was married is the only thing that actually roots him in reality, because he ‘lives’ in a different type of reality, one, I believe, in his own mind. Rush is by far the biggest expert on Ancient technology, and when his wife dies and he gets the chance to go on this exploration of the universe, he jumps at it because there’s nothing left for him [on Earth].

As far as our story and where our people end up, it’s Rush who tells them that there’s no chance they can ever go back, and he thinks there’s nothing greater! This is the best potential for exploration that mankind has ever known. That’s what’s driving Rush; and therefore he’s probably not to be trusted by anyone on the crew.” Excellent Drama A familiar face on the small and big screens, Carlyle has played a diverse collection of characters in over 25 years as an actor, including a policeman in UK TV show Hamish Macbeth, Adolf Hitler in Hitler: The Rise of Evil, and—most prominently—an unemployed-steelworker- turned-male-stripper in The Full Monty. His experience also extends to the fantasy and horror genres with Eragon and 28 Weeks Later, but Stargate Universe marks his introduction to the worlds of TV science fiction.

With no need to submit to an audition, Brad Wright and Robert C. Cooper offered Carlyle the role of Dr. Rush—an offer that came as bit of a surprise to the actor. “The first thing I said to Brad and Robert, was, ‘I’m quite flattered by this, but why me? Why do you want me to come do this?’” recalls Carlyle. “They then went on to explain the unfolding series that they had in their minds and I thought, ‘Now I understand why they want someone like me to do this.’ The thing about Stargate Universe, as opposed to prior incarnations of the series, is that it’s a lot darker—that’s certainly what I see anyway—and more about survival, as well as how these characters interact with each other. Obviously there’s alien interaction and stuff like that along the way, but that’s not the main event. This is a character-driven piece, not to mention excellent drama. “The first three scripts were what I accepted the job on,” continues the actor. “The pilot, entitled Air, is actually a threeparter and absolutely excellent. It’s followed by an episode called Fire, which was originally supposed to be a single story, but it overran.

However, Brad and Robert are so happy with it that they’ve decided to turn it into a two-parter. By that you can probably tell that there’s an awful lot of cerebral material and drama that’s impossible to cut. So if they feel that an episode needs more space, then they’ll turn it into two. That’s a brave thing for them and a fantastic thing for an actor, because then you don’t have to be as worried about time and getting your lines out quickly. You can take your time and tell the story the way it should be told.” Big Project Opening episode Air sees Colonel Everett Young (Louis Ferreira, previously known as Justin Louis), commander of a secret off-world base, lead a hasty escape to an unmanned and experimental spaceship called the Destiny, launched by the Ancients at the height of their civilization.

Not long after arriving, the team discovers that the ship is on a preprogrammed course and is unable to return to Earth. With a Stargate on board, but no access to Earth, Young and his team are stuck and must fend for themselves as the Destiny continues its travels through space. Arriving on the Universe set for the first time to begin work on Air was an eyeopening experience for Carlyle. “It was like walking onto a James Bond set,” he says. “It’s that big, it’s that good, it’s that spectacular; that’s the best compliment I can pay it. This show has wonderful craftsmen, set designers, and props people. They spent a tremendous amount of money on this set and it’s all there on screen. “My first impressions were, ‘This is the real deal and a big, big, project.’ From there, it was a matter of everyone getting to know each other and how each other works.

I know this is going to sound kind of corny, and I’m not a corny guy, but this cast gets along extremely well and it has been that way from the start. With Louis Ferreira and myself, it was like meeting a long-lost brother. We’ve been inseparable since day one, and the same goes for the rest of the cast. “I don’t know, but I feel as if I’ve been given something of a reward for 25 years of hard work in the business because this is just a terrific experience. I’m almost frightened of waking up one morning and someone taking it all away. It’s a great way of working and the reason why I became an actor in the first place. I’m enjoying going to the set, working with my fellow actors and the directors, reading each new script, you name it.

I can’t speak highly enough of the cast as well as the crew and this particular creative process.” Along with the Universe cast, Carlyle has also had the chance to work with former Stargate SG-1 leading man Richard Dean Anderson (General Jack O’Neill), who, in addition to SG-1’s Amanda Tapping (Colonel Samantha Carter) and Michael Shanks (Dr. Daniel Jackson), will guest-star in an episode. “It was lovely to work with Richard Dean Anderson,” says the actor. “I’ve been a big fan of his for a number of years and have a great deal of respect for him and what he’s achieved as an actor. Richard and I got on really well and I think he was very happy to be back with the Stargate family.” Escaping Destiny Unfortunately, the congenial mood on the Universe set is not mirrored onboard the Destiny, particularly in regard to Dr. Rush’s relationships with his colleagues. “If we start at the top in terms of crew ranking, Colonel Young is my character’s nemesis, there’s no doubt about that,” notes Carlyle, “and it’s quite serious. These guys are not having a petty conflict. Without giving too much away, there’s an episode, which we’ve yet to shoot, where a tragedy takes place aboard the Destiny and Rush tries to frame Young.

They hate each other that much. Young is a soldier, while Rush is a scientist, and they just don’t get one another. As soon as they end up on the Destiny, the colonel is all about getting everyone home, and Rush is all about ‘How do we avoid that?’ So they’re against each other from day one and that’s been developing beautifully over the past six or seven weeks of filming. “The other main character who Rush has most of his dealings with is Eli Wallace, played by David Blue. He’s a young guy who, as the Stargate people put it to him, won a ‘competition,’ so he comes with us on our spaceship and help us explore the universe. Eli is given few options with that, and Rush is more or less in charge of him.

The way Brad and Robert spoke of the relationship between Rush and Eli is a bit like Salieri and Mozart. I know that sounds grand, but by that I mean someone like Salieri was obviously a mega-intelligent man, yet he needed someone else [Mozart] to help him. With Rush, he can’t actually do what he wants to do without Eli. So he’s dependent on this young genius, even though Eli’s youth frustrates my character.

Their relationship has a long way to go, but like Young’s and Rush’s, it’s bubbling very nicely at the moment. “In terms of Rush’s relationships with other characters on the ship, like Lt. Scott [Brian J. Smith], Sergeant Johansen [Alaina Huffman] and Sergeant Greer [Jamil Walker Smith], these are military people who Rush doesn’t concern himself too much with. In fact, he’d be happy to see them put into an airlock and shot out of the ship all together.

So my character is a man alone; I suppose that’s what I’m getting at. Rush doesn’t understand them, they don’t understand him, and as I said he’s really serious about this. He does not want to return to Earth.” When asked about his favorite Universe episode to have worked on so far, Carlyle refers back to Fire. “One of the interesting things about these episodes is that the first three are, as you know, entitled Air, Fire, then Water, followed by Earth, so it’s very much about the basics,” says the actor. “These characters are ill-equipped for this mission. None of them are supposed to be there [onboard the Destiny], and therefore have no additional resources when they get there.

Jan 15 2010

January 15th Marks Deadline Bidding Day For MGM

Published by under News

Today (January 15) is the deadline for first-round bids for US studio MGM with twelve companies understood to be in the running.

Indian conglomerate Reliance ADA Group is the latest company being linked to MGM and is expected to lodge a bid today. The Indian company inked a deal with Dreamworks last year and injected US$325 million into the studio.

Along with other bidders, it is keen to acquire the vast MGM library, which includes the James Bond and Rocky franchise and half of the rights to the next two Lord of the Rings spin-offs including The Hobbit.

TV product includes the Stargate sci-fi series and projects in development include a TV remake of Robert De Niro-fronted action movie Ronin and a 4x1hour mini series based on Meryl Streep’s 1981 drama The French Lieutenant’s Woman.

Other bidders are understood to include Time Warner, Lionsgate and several private equity firms. John Malone’s Liberty Media and Twilight-producer Summit Entertainment are also being linked with MGM while Viacom’s CBS has officially ruled itself out of the running.

News Corp. has reportedly ‘expressed an interest’ but wrangling over the terms MGM has placed on bidders wanting to look at its book are understood to have held Rupert Murdoch’s company back.

The studio’s lenders have delayed debt repayments while it solicits bids. However, these are expected to come in at under US$2 billion and the company’s debt load is about US$3.7 billion.

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Nov 06 2009

Is Stargate Universe’s Dr. Rush Evil Or Misunderstood?

Published by under News

You’ve got to wonder if Dr. Nicholas Rush (Robert Carlyle), the single-minded genius on Syfy’s SGU: Stargate Universe, is on the right show. Maybe he hopped over from Caprica before anyone noticed and now it’s too late. However it happened, Carlyle’s character is so morally ambiguous we don’t know if we can trust him.

Looking at his deeds just in the six episodes that have aired so far, you really have to wonder: Is he evil? Maybe not evil like Darth Vader or the Master, but evil like Battlestar Galactica’s Gaius Baltar or Lost’s Ben.

Stargate_Universe_Carlyle_rush-thumb-550x366-28041In the very first episode, Rush claims he didn’t dial Earth because of the danger to Earth in dialing from a volatile planet. OK maybe. But he also sent dozens of people into an unknown situation that just happened to be the dilapidated Ancient ship, the Destiny.

Over and over again, we question the motives of this Machiavellian scientist, who too often seems willing to sacrifice people to make sure he can continue his life’s work, which includes exploring the secrets of the Stargate and now the Destiny.

Executive producer Brad Wright has said people aboard the Destiny are “in a position where we have to trust the son of a bitch who put us in this situation, because he has a lot of the knowledge that we need just to stay alive.”

It shouldn’t surprise us that the amazing Carlyle has been so convincing as Rush, considering he’s played everything from a policeman to a psychopath to a male stripper to a James Bond villain to a cannibal to Adolf Hitler! There’s no denying the Scottish actor has range, and it’s range he’s put to good use as Dr. Nicholas Rush.

Here are some of the questionable things Rush has done on SGU since the pilot episode.

Tried to seize power

In “Air, Part 2,” Rush used the communication device to contact Earth and returned to the Destiny with news that Lt. Gen. Jack O’Neill (Richard Dean Anderson) had put him in charge of the expedition. Fortunately, the people onboard did not believe him, and Col. Young (Justin Louis) soon got better enough from his injuries to squash Rush’s power play.

Unmoved by senator’s sacrifice

Stargate_Universe_Carlyle_rush_Camille-thumb-330x219-28057When Sen. Armstrong (Christopher McDonald) sacrificed himself to save the Destiny’s air supply by closing a door to a damaged shuttle in “Air, Part 2,” it didn’t seem to bother Rush one bit. In fact, before the Senator took it upon himself to save the day, Rush suggested they rate the people aboard based on their skills, so they could determine who was most expendable to be sacrificed. What a guy!

So not a hero

When the Destiny dropped out of faster-than-light drive and found a planet with the lime needed to fix the air filter problem in “Air, Part 3,” Rush went with Lt. Scott (Brian J. Smith) and others to the planet. He quickly became a liability and was unable to continue. On the way back to the gate with Greer (Jamil Walker Smith), Rush taunted him and seemed ready to give up. On the other hand, Scott nearly died trying to find the lime. Of course, Scott’s a hero.

Willing to sacrifice others

During the same episode, when Palmer, Curtis, and Franklin decide to take their chances on another planet, Palmer and Curtis go through the Stargate. In order to stop Franklin, Rush orders Greer to shoot him. Franklin took a bullet to the shoulder and was most likely spared death on the planet. But was Rush’s interest in stopping Franklin to save him, or perhaps because Franklin had the only Stargate remote control? And when the Stargate’s about to close and the Destiny’s about to leave, Rush tells Eli (David Blue) to put his hand in the gate to keep the event horizon from closing, while Greer and Scott are rushing toward him with the lime. But is Rush trying to save them … or get the lime?

Stargate_Universe_Carlyle_rush_control-thumb-330x219-28042Mentally unstable

When the ship’s power begins to run out in “Darkness,” Rush struggles for days to solve the problem without sleep, coffee or nicotine. His nervous breakdown proves he’s human, although it doesn’t solve the problem.

Messes with their minds

The Destiny suddenly heads directly toward a sun, and it seems like everyone’s doomed in “Light.” With only one working shuttle, Young decides to hold a lottery offering a handful a chance to live on a nearby planet. Rush takes himself out of the running, saying he’s going to go down with the ship. But when the people aboard the ship don’t die as the Destiny sucks up power directly from the sun, Rush is the first to figure out that the ship is solar powered. Having survived certain death, Young comes to believe that Rush may have known all along that the Destiny wasn’t about to meet its destiny. (Well, actually we figured it out at the beginning of the episode. We must be geniuses.)

Unmoved by sacrifice, the sequel

When the Destiny’s water supply mysteriously begins to disappear in “Water,” Young and Scott try to harvest water from an ice planet. When Scott is trapped in a crevasse, Rush tells Young to leave him and bring the ice back to the ship. Of course, Young (who’s also a hero) isn’t about to sacrifice young Scott. And with a little earthquake and a little determination, he doesn’t have to.

Doesn’t want to be rescued?

In tonight’s episode, “Earth,” IOA scientists hatch a dangerous plan to get the crew back to Earth. Since Rush’s plans most likely don’t include going home anytime soon, we don’t think he’s going to be happy.

News article courtesy of SyFy Wire

Oct 13 2009

MGM’s Official Stargate Universe Ratings Press Release

Published by under News,Ratings

New Installment of Fan Franchise Favorite Scores Impressive Ratings in U.S., UK, Australia and Canada, While Attracting a Whole New Generation of Young Fans

Best Franchise Premiere Performance in Four Years – U.S.

Biggest “Stargate” Audience in Almost Five Years – UK

Highest Rated Single Episode Ever – Canada

One of the Highest Rated Shows for the Week on Pay Television – Australia

LOS ANGELES, CA October 12, 2009 – Edgier in tone and sporting a versatile and high profile cast, MGM’s hour-long, sci-fi series Stargate Universe (SGU) is on the fast track to becoming the most successful installment in Stargate franchise history. Reporting impressive debuts in the U.S., the UK, Canada and Australia, SGU is attracting a large number of younger viewers and proving that a new generation of fans is embracing the next era of Stargate.

“With this success, SGU continues to be a very important franchise in the MGM family along with James Bond, Pink Panther, The Hobbit and Rocky,” said Gary Marenzi, Co-President, MGM Worldwide Television. “We anticipate global success for the series as SGU continues its roll out around the world and we are thrilled that younger audiences worldwide are discovering and embracing our very addictive series.”

“Many of our characters are younger, inexperienced and should not be on this mission,” added Brad Wright, co-creator of SGU. “This opens the door to relationships and storylines that younger audiences want to see.”

SGU debuted in the U.S. on Syfy to the best franchise premiere performance in four years, drawing more than 2.3 million viewers. The series grabbed 2.35 million total viewers with 1.32 million Adults 25-54, and 1.12 million Adults 18-49 during its two-hour debut.

In Canada, SGU premiered on SPACE with a record breaking audience of 565,000 making it SPACE’s highest rated single episode ever. SGU was the #1 non-sports specialty program of the day for Adults 25-54 and A18-49. SPACE is the Canadian English language cable television specialty channel owned and operated by CTVglobemedia.

Launching on Sky1 in the UK, SGU delivered 1,042,000 viewers for episode one and 961,000 for episode two, earning the series the biggest “Stargate” audience in almost five years.

In Australia, SGU was the best performing show on the Sci-Fi pay television platform, posting a 6.4% share. This performance represented an increase of 411% in the time slot (Fridays 8:30 to 10:30 p.m.) versus the previous programming of the last four weeks. SGU is well on its way of being one of the highest rated shows for the week on pay television in Australia.

SGU represents the next frontier for the legions of Stargate fans. The series is decidedly smarter, edgier and more youthful in tone and takes the franchise into a dynamic new direction. The dramatic series is fueled with complex plot twists, suspenseful cliffhangers and an all-star cast that includes Robert Carlyle (The Full Monty, Trainspotting, 28 Weeks Later), Lou Diamond Phillips (Che, La Bamba) and Ming-Na (ER, Vanished).

Based on the 1994 feature film “Stargate,” MGM’s sci-fi franchise was born in 1997 when “Stargate SG-1” (SG-1) made its television premiere on Showtime. After five seasons, the series moved to the Sci-Fi Channel where the award-winning drama ran until 2007. With 10 seasons and 214 episodes, SG-1 surpassed “The X-Files” in 2007 as the longest-running North American science fiction series on television. The next chapter in the Stargate franchise, “Stargate Atlantis,” premiered on the Sci-Fi Channel and The Movie Network in 2004. With five seasons and 100 episodes under its belt; the series ended its successful run in January 2009.