Thursday night was the world premiere of the new Stargate SG-1 movie, “Continuum.” Not only was this the premiere, but it was held on the deck of the aircraft carrier USS Midway. Things kicked off with a red carpet press junket with the cast, writer and director of “Continuum” and, of course, Pop Culture Zoo was there. In attendance was Amanda Tapping, Christopher Judge, Ben Browder, Michael Shanks, Beau Bridges, Cliff Simon, Martin Wood, Brad Wright, Martin Gero, Jewel Stait, Robert Picardo, Lexa Doig and, from the upcoming “Stargate Worlds” MMORPG, Dan Elggren. Due to time considerations, we only got to talk to some of the cast, but it was very cool. By the way, this film really does deserve a big-scale premiere. The only reason it isn’t being released into theaters is because the makers of the original Stargate film have options for further sequels with a condition being that MGM can’t release anything Stargate related theatrically.
Anyway, back to the premiere, the first person up was Dan Elggren and I asked what could be expected from Stargate Worlds as far as what environments we could expect to see in the game. Dan replied that certainly we would see Stargate Command and worlds that were familiar from the show, but also new worlds that the game developers could create as fairly alien without the constraints of a television show budget.
Next was the ever-entertaining Richard Dean Anderson. Since Comic Con originally began as a comic book convention, I asked him who his favorite super-hero is. After taking a few moments to think about it, he answered Stewie Griffin, followed closely by Brian. Obviously, Rick has expanded his love of animated TV shows to include Family Guy.
I then asked Brad Wright how much enjoyed writing a script which included killing off all his main characters. He reminded me that he had already done that with the season four episode “2010,” but that is part of why you do a movie like “Continuum”, to make your characters go to the extreme of sacrificing themselves. He also said it was MGM’s decision whether or not to release the upcoming remastered and updated version of the Stargate SG-1 pilot episode will be released straight to DVD or included in the current syndication package.
Cliff Simon, aka Ba’al, was much less evil and much more charming in person. He talked to us about how happy he was to keep coming back on the show and the challenge of playing a room full of Ba’al clones. He also brought up the fact that all the characters he portrays are a part of him so it’s not that difficult when, for instance, there is a gap of time between appearances, getting back into the role. Cliff is currently working on writing and, hopefully, filming a biographical film on Charles Chapman, Jr., an amazing athlete who swims incredible distances using only the butterfly stroke. He also mentioned his motivational CDs, his work with the troops in Iraq and what a fantastic country the US is.
Then along came Christopher Judge. Chris is amazingly friendly and very funny. I asked him what he thought of seeing himself as an action figure and he said it was kind of a surreal as he leaves the character at work, so getting a box of actions figures of Teal’c is sometimes surprising. He said his youngest child thinks it’s cool, but his oldest children use it as fodder to heckle him. Chris relayed how it’s just amazing all that has happened to him because of Stargate over the last twelve and a half years and that it is gratifying to him that science-fiction shows are much more mainstream now instead of being thought of as a joke.
Lastly, and definitely not in any way least, was the one and only Ben Browder. I asked Ben the favorite super-hero question and that got him thinking. He said when he was a kid, it was Spider-Man and probably has become Batman lately, but that he would really rather be the Joker. He said his answer would be he would rather be a super-villian. He then did a fantastic imitation of Syndrome from “The Incredibles”, which he claims to be one of his top five favorite movies now.
And then the main event. There was a huge screen set up against the control tower on the flight deck with plenty of seats for everyone, plus popcorn and soda. The film itself is fantastic and extremely fun. We’ll have our review of it up on it’s release day, Tuesday the 29th. Suffice it to say, it played to the crowd as all present greatly enjoyed it. After the movie was over, things continued below on the hanger deck with a post-film party. The highlight of the party would have to be the flight simulators that were operational for attendees. These were fully enclosed simulators that rotate in full 360 degrees. I’m not sure who was doing the driving, but when Brad Wright and Richard Dean Anderson were in one of the simulators it was doing some pretty crazy things.
Of all the cool ways to see the premiere of a film, on the flight deck of an aircraft carrier is most definitely near the top of the list. It was a stellar bash, and I want to thank MGM and Fox Home Video, as well as the cast and crew, for an amazing time. We’ll have more Stargate news from the panels for “Continuum”, Worlds and Atlantis on Friday, so check back throughout the day!