'Stargate' and 'RoboCop' reboots in the works at Amazon: report

With today's VFX technology, the rich history of the story and the characters, the possibilities are limitless
With today's VFX technology, the rich history of the story and the characters, the possibilities are limitless (Image credit: MGM/Amazon)

More reboots are on the way.

Amazon television studio is reportedly seriously considering both a "Stargate" and a "RoboCop" reboot, according to an exclusive report from Deadline. "Amazon has similar plans for Stargate," the report states. "We hear both film and TV installments are considered, with a movie likely going first. Robocop also is being talked about for both film and TV, with a TV show possibly first."

Hollywood-based MGM Studios originally owned all the rights to the "Stargate" franchise, but in May of 2021 Amazon bought MGM Studios for $8.45 billion and consequently acquired the rights to more than 4,000 films and 17,000 TV shows, including "James Bond," "Rocky," "Stargate" and "RoboCop."

According to Deadline, "A-list creative auspices have reached out to inquire about adapting MGM IP which they are fans of. Additionally, Amazon Studios also has been leaning on its own roster of talent for some projects."

Related: Why it's time for a new Stargate series

The phrase "its own roster of talent" is particularly interesting, since Amazon has access to the team that put "The Expanse" on our screens. Joseph Mallozzi who was a producer on every series of "Stargate" has said multiple times on Twitter when asked about the prospect of a reboot that there had been "no involvement from any of the original creatives so 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."

O'Neill lines up for a tee shot to P4X-239, a distance of several billion miles, in "Window of Opportunity" (Image credit: MGM)

However, when Space.com spoke to Roland Emmerich just a year ago, in February 2022, he said, "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." So, that might prove to be interesting.

This isn't the first time an attempt has been made to breathe life back into the popular sci-fi show. Back in 2018, there was a low-budget, OK-but-not-great mini-series called "Stargate: Origins" that focused on young Catherine Langford's backstory. Before that, "Atlantis" star Joe Flanigan tried to rescue the franchise from MGM's pending bankruptcy, but the deal fell through following a change in management at the studio. The show's co-creator, Brad Wright, also unsuccessfully attempted a reboot, which altogether is more effort than has probably been made for any other show, sci-fi or otherwise.  

The "Atlantis" episode "Vegas" was one of the best examples of in-universe, out-of-genre writing ever (Image credit: MGM/Amazon)

After "SG1" as "Atlantis" was wrapping up sci-fi started taking a darker, grittier tone following the success of shows like "Battlestar Galactica" and not wanting to be left behind, "Stargate Universe" was born. Unfortunately, following poor ratings, this vastly underrated spinoff failed to garner a third season. The "Stargate" franchise was finally shut down in May 2011. 

Since studios seem to prefer rebooting, reviving and rehashing existing IP ("Quantum Leap," "Magnum PI" and "MacGyver" to name three good examples of bad reboots) rather than actually creating anything new, it seems strange that Amazon hasn't already pounced on the limitless potential both "RoboCop" and even more so, "Stargate," have to offer.

And since Amazon seems to be willing to dump a ton of green into it's "Lord of the Rings" experiment, the lack of original content is not just limited to network studios. Let's not forget, Disney can't/won't let go of the Skywalkers and Paramount has an Enterprise problem.

The chemistry between Dr. Rush (Robert Carlyle) and Col. Young (Louis Ferreira) was very well written (Image credit: MGM/Amazon)

But reboots can also be good, "Battlestar Galactica," "Lost in Space," and "The Tick" are three such examples. However, we're still waiting patiently for other amazing opportunities to come to fruition, like the "V," "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" and "Babylon 5" reboots. (Although J. Michael Straczynski has said he will make several announcements at the Phoenix Fan Fusion Convention in June, but there's no guarantee any of them will be about that.) Then there's "District 10," "Buck Rogers," "The Last Starfighter" and "Flash Gordon" still to come. Good grief. Of course, amazing opportunities can equally also be utterly squandered ... just look at "Tron: Legacy."

While specifics on exactly how much an average episode of "Stargate: SG1" cost to make vary significantly from source to source, what's not in question is that the budget increased as the show steadily built up a massive fan base. That said, it's obviously still a very far cry from the reported $8 million plus it costs to make one episode of "Star Trek: Discovery" — and that equates to about $4 million back in 1995.

And then there's the format: A 22-or-so episode season structure seems to be a thing of a bygone era. We're lucky if we get half that these days. (Even "Battlestar Galactica" offered us 20 episodes per season.) But, just for a moment imagine what could be accomplished, with new and improved VFX technology and with a VR wall, not every planet has to look like Vancouver now. Plus of course, we don't know how exactly the show would be rebooted or what would be the focus of the storyline. 

At this year's Basingstoke Comic Con in May, most of the cast of "Stargate Atlantis" will be present and so will Space.com, so we will be sure to ask everyone for their response to all of this. All three "Stargate" shows are [unusually] currently on both Netflix and Amazon Prime

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Scott Snowden

When Scott's application to the NASA astronaut training program was turned down, he was naturally upset...as any 6-year-old boy would be. He chose instead to write as much as he possibly could about science, technology and space exploration. He graduated from The University of Coventry and received his training on Fleet Street in London. He still hopes to be the first journalist in space.

  • CMartius
    They have to be very careful here. Stargate SG-1 itself was, essentially, a re-boot. And it worked because it was both the same as the original and different enough to be able to carve its own identity. That's a track record they need to pay attention to and why SGU didn't work so well. I actually enjoyed SGU BUT it was so different in tone that it often didn't feel like SG-1 or Atlantis (itself, the same but different enough.) Most of these shows that don't seem to end up 'working' is failing to meld the old and the new.

    That said, 13-14 years removed from anything Stargate related (by the time this will actually be able to premiere) probably gives them more room to try 'new' things.