While at the MGM party on the rooftop of San Diego’s Salomar hotel last Thursday night — where a Stargate was projected on the bottom of the pool and the SGU symbol was projected on the side of a building across the street — ‘Stargate’ major domo Brad Wright revealed to CinemaSpy that the third series in the ‘Stargate’ franchise, Stargate Universe, had an episodic budget fully $1M beyond what had been available when shooting Stargate Atlantis.
That’s $1 million. It’s a staggering sum to add over and above the previous show’s budget. But it demonstrates the faith that MGM has in Wright, writer/producer Rob Cooper, and indeed, the ‘Stargate’ franchise itself.
And frankly, it shows. At the exclusive gathering, the studio ran the new trailer for the series, and it was readily apparent that all of that money is on the screen, for the sequences look truly magnificent.
Wright admitted to us that the set design and visual effects definitely exceed what they were doing with Atlantis, and bring the ‘Stargate’ franchise more in line with other state-of-the-art properties out there today.
“This goes way beyond what we were able to do on Atlantis,” he told us.
Wright also conceded that while Battlestar Galactica’s grittier tone definitely informed Universe to an extent, Universe will retain at least a modicum of the irreverence that has made the ‘Stargate’ franchise fun and accessible to viewers.
“Galactica took itself so seriously,” he said. “Our series tries to retain more of the fun that’s become associated with this sort of genre.”
To give you an example of the ramped up intensity and grit, Robert Carlyle discussed that in one episode of Universe, entitled “Time”, the crew find themselves on an unknown world where they discover alien balls. The balls are some form of temporal recording/playback device, and what they witness is themselves all dying.
If you’ve not already seen the official Stargate Universe trailer you can watch this below.