3Looking back over my 11+ years with the Stargate franchise, I have one giant regret – the missed opportunity of bringing you that Atlantis movie.  We came close…so close…

Late in Atlantis’s fifth year, when we were working on the final few scripts of the season, we had no way of knowing what the future held. A sixth season?  A wrap-up movie?  Robert Cooper suggested we hedge our bets by preparing for both.  His idea was to add an extra month to the production schedule during which we would shoot the sixth season opening two-parter that, in the event the show wasn’t picked up, could become a direct-to-dvd feature.  It was a brilliant plan which I, in turn, proposed it to the decision-makers.  Given the green light, we could roll right into production on the heels of Enemy at the Gate.  We just needed the go-ahead sooner than later in order to make sure we had all the actors on board.

Sadly, we never got the go-ahead and, although we did end up eventually writing the script for the Atlantis movie (Stargate: Extinction), in hindsight, that window of opportunity at the end of the show’s sixth season was our last, best shot at seeing it made.  The bottom fell out of the dvd market, the script was shelved and, well, here we are today.

As I already mentioned in past entries, the movie would have opened on a shot that revealed Atlantis’s new home on the lunar surface.  We learn that the gate has been offline since its return to Earth but, under pressure from the IOA, the decision is made to bring it back online, have it supersede the Earth gate, and make it a permanent lunar base. The decision isn’t embraced by everyone.  Woolsey and McKay, for instance, point out that they still have a responsibility to the people of the Pegasus galaxy.  Of course the IOA are hardly moved.

Unfortunately, when the gate is finally brought back online, Zelenka reports a build up of energy in the capacitors.  Too late they realize that the Ancients put a failsafe in place in the event Atlantis was moved.  McKay realizes – the city will self-destruct unless it returns to the Pegasus galaxy.

Woolsey gets the band back together, transporting John and Ronon up from the hospital emergency room where they are getting fixed up following a bar room brawl (an opportunity to write in the scar actor Jason Momoa had received at the time).  John, in turn, pays a visit to Area 51 and, again under the heavy protests of the IOA, springs his buddy, Todd.

The plan is to use the wormhole drive to execute a series of jumps to Pegasus – however, the drive burns out partway through their journey, stranding them in the Triangulum Galaxy, some 300 000 light years from home.  They manage to muster up enough power for one, final short range jump, putting them within range of a subspace anomaly they detected.

What follows is a high-flying adventure involving a mysterious civilization tapping the limitless potential of the accretion streams between two stars, time travel, and a race against time to avert not only the destruction of Atlantis but the extinction of an entire race.

Some of the standout sequences that come to mind include one in which Sheppard ends up trapped on an enemy mothership, falling back to a room holding some of the tech the enemy has stolen from Atlantis. Enemy soldiers surround the locked chamber, preparing to storm it when – the door shakes, buckles, and blows outward to reveal Sheppard in one of the Asgard exo-suits.  Cue kickass Iron Man sequence.

3

Another involves Todd risking all to ambush a future version of himself aboard the bridge of the enemy mothership, saving Atlantis from a final, devastating attack.  The two battle. “So young and impetuous,”remarks Future Todd.  “So old and foolish,”counters ours. Eventually, Future Todd gets the upper hand and pins his opponent. He raises his dagger for the finishing blow – only to have someone reach in and grab his wrist.  Rodney McKay to the rescue.  Allowing our Todd seizes the opportunity to turn the tables.

John and Todd make the most unlikeliest of odd couples in this one, forced to work together for the greater good.  “If I had to pick one thing I like best about you,”says Sheppard during one hair-raising moment, “I’d have to say it’s your sense of humor.”  A stone-faced Todd informs him: “Yes, back on the hive, I was known as “the funny one”.”

Enemy fighters are scrambled, Beckett takes the chair, the mother ship faces off against Atlantis, the city takes significant damage, Teyla suffers a terrible loss, some wonderful heroic moments for Ronon, McKay, and Teyla as well.

Atlantis ultimately returns to the Pegasus galaxy where Todd is granted his freedom.  “You did save the city after all,”explains Woolsey.  “Of course I did,”says Todd.  “How else would I have gotten home?”.  And, in a moment that demonstrates how far things have come, John gives his former enemy a parting handshake.  Woolsey hopes that, some day, their paths will cross under better circumstances.  Todd agrees.  “It would be wonderful to have you for dinner sometime,”he says before heading through the gate.

Atlantis re-establishes itself, Beckett gets his turtles back from Rodney and assumes a permanent position as Atlantis’s new head of medical R&D, and John comforts a grieving Teyla now aware – via the revelations of time travel – that they are destined to be together.

And we fade out on a night shot of Atlantis, a jewel on the water…

Yes, it would have been a great movie, but I think it would have been an even better sixth season two-part premiere.

And, yeah, we had long-range plans for that too:

2September 30, 2008: An AU Season 6!

Now that I think about it, I believe 619 and 620, the two-part season finale, would have involved an idea I’d been kicking around involving our team returning from a mission to an AU Atlantis that has been taken over by a mysteriously resurrected Michael, its personnel (Woolsey, Keller, Beckett, even Chuck!)  now hybrids in league with their former enemy.  Damn.  So many opportunities missed!

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Sparrow_hawk

*sigh* dang, that would have been a fun movie! Hey, wait a second – did das write some of that Todd dialogue? Sounds sort of familiar. grin

Chris L.
Chris L.

Dude! Love it!

Alisa Russell

Would have been really cool to see!!

Deni

Damn, indeed! Damn! I would have loved this!

sudduthj01

Joe- Is there any potential for the scripts that didn’t make it to production, like extinction, to be published?

DP
DP

I was unable to add up the cryptic hints. I was completely in the dark that das has already been working as your co-writer. Inspiration at the very least.

DP
DP

whoops, bolded too much

Airelle
Airelle

Yum, kickass Iron Man sequence, yeah!!,, Thanks.

kabra
kabra

MAAAAANN! That was so awesome, c’mon more!!!I’d settle for a book at this point -can you publish the script?? I was getting into it.

Joel
Joel

OMG! This would have been a epic movie!

Thanks for tell us more about the script!

We need to see this, at least in a book format.

majorsal

what happened to keller???

i think atlantis staying on the moon (and taking over as the main gate) would have been cool! :p

for the love of Beckett
for the love of Beckett

Man!
Man-oh-man! shock
Action, buddy moments, humor, Sheppard & Teyla — Finally! And hints of things to come. Wonderful, Joe. smile

SYFY & MGM…. PLEASE! For the love of all things Stargate, if we raise $35 million on Kickckstarter, could you air a 2-hour movie and later release it for sale? We WILL put our money where our mouths are! Stargate fans from all over the globe WILL support this.

~for the love of Beckett

Randomness
Randomness

@for the love of Beckett

Not sure why you mentioned Syfy there, the network has no control over what happens with Stargate now. It’s purely MGM in every respect.

Randomness
Randomness

Love the choice of Galaxy names Joe, what about the Sombrero galaxy? It sounds better lol. Plus it’s further away, approx 28 million light years from Earth, would of made it more dramatic..

Joking aside, we all miss Stargate sad

Ponytail
Ponytail

Sheppard would have become Teyla’s baby new daddy…awe. And Todd’s BFF. It all sounds so good. Too bad. So sad. cry

BMc
BMc

OH! What a movie that would have been!! I know the opportunity is long gone – sets broken up & sold, cast moving on with their careers – but at least you’ve been able to give us the condensed version of what we missed out on seeing. THANK YOU – Thank You – Thank you – thank you… (drifting sadly into the night… Fade out.)

thornyrose01
thornyrose01

fangasms just running some of those scenes in my mind. What would it take to get the rights to the script, to publish it if nothing else? For all that you told us, it’s obvious there is much more to the story. Than you for sharing, and I’ll use two of my three wishes(if I had 3 to use) to somehow bring the script to the light of day in some (profitable) form or other.

Marsha_R
Marsha_R

Aw. Now I’m sad all over again. Movie sounds wonderful though!

Scott Hander
Scott Hander

Wow! Thank you so much for the synopsis! Would love to read the whole thing if it could ever be published. (Crossing my fingers and holding hope for a similar glimpse at Revolution and Universe’s future sometime soon…)

mike mcginnis
mike mcginnis

so if beckett takes over as head of medicine. what happened to keller?

sylvia
sylvia

If…only….sigh.
Thanks for sharing.

Ponytail
Ponytail

@ mike mcginnis – Joe said Beckett takes over as head of medical “R&D”. That’s Research and Development. Probably more experimenting, like what they did with Michael. smile

dasndanger
dasndanger

I love you, Joe. smile

das

simon bulgaris
simon bulgaris

Thanks what a trip it is so amazing those ideas and images you have been so kind to give us a closer for that history that in my humble opinion die before her time, Atlantis was at her peak in emotion, creativity ,scifi ,especial efects ,was like stargate sg1 final 10 season with steroids, so many races, arcs, technology, nanites, acients, wraith, hybrids i think the only thing left out was the Ori already beaten…oh man what a journey thanks from the deep of my scifi hart this post worth it 100% all this years of grive …take care, and pardon my english

simon
simon

Thanks what a trip it is so amazing those  ideas and images you have been so kind to give us a closer for that history that in my humble opinion die before her time, Atlantis was at her peak in emotion, creativity ,scifi ,especial efects ,was like stargate sg1 final 10 season with steroids, so many races, arcs, technology, nanites, acients, wraith, hybrids i think the only thing left out was the Ori already beaten…oh man what a journey thanks from the deep of my scifi hart this post worth it 100% all this years of grive …take care, and pardon my english