“Stargate: Atlantis” To Begin Filming in February; Dr. Weir Role to be Recast

The 1994 film “Stargate” begot a series, “Stargate: SG-1,” and now that series has finally given birth to its long-awaited spin-off. According to FilmJerk.com sources, “Stargate: Atlantis” will begin filming February 2004 in Vancouver. More importantly, it seems that producers will be recasting the one role  so far crossing over to the new show, Dr. Elizabeth Weir, from the original series.

As Gateworld.com reported on November 21, the actress who portrayed Dr. Weir in “Stargate: SG-1,” Jessica Steen, will not appear on the series. While erring in saying that “reasons for the producers’ decision not to include her character in Atlantis are unknown,” the character will indeed be on the series – albeit with a different actress – according to casting documents obtained by FilmJerk.com.

“Stargate: Atlantis” follows an international team of scientists and military personnel representing Earth who have ventured to a newly discovered and abandoned Ancient City on a distant planet in the Pegasus Galaxy. From there, they encounter a whole new Stargate network that leads to numerous human populated worlds. They will also come to face a sinister new enemy called the Wraith who is even more powerful than the Ancients who were originally being sought.

Three members of this new Stargate team, all of whom are series regulars, will include:

  • Major John Sheppard: A gifted military pilot, posted at McMurdoch Air Force Base because it’s the only place they will let him fly; Sheppard once defied a direct order and flew his helicopter to rescue two Rangers trapped behind enemy lines. Though people might see a good-ol’ boy exterior he is also a closet mathematical genius. He has a wry sense of humor and likes to pretend he’s not as smart as he really is. Most of the time a perfect gentlemen – who tries his best to be charming – when he’s pushed to fight he can be an absolute animal with single-minded purpose. He distrusts authority and always goes with his gut letting his strong sense of common sense morality lead his actions. The character is listed as being between 35 and 40 years old.
  • Dr. Elizabeth Weir: Described as “attractive, brilliant, and the master of five languages,” this 35-year-old started out as a critic of government spending on the military. But she ultimately decided the best way to fight the establishment was to join it and change what she could from within by brokering peace and being a voice of reason to whoever would listen. She worked behind the scenes for the U.S. government as a high level international negotiator for years before being offered command of the Stargate Program by the new President. Now, she has been given the opportunity to lead an international team through the gate to a new galaxy on a grand mission to save all of humanity and she is not one to turn that challenge down. 
  • Mikala: Beautiful and soulful, she is a native of post-apocalyptic alien world viewers will encounter in the initial episode and has lost most of her family to the Wraith. Despite her youth, she has become somewhat of a leader to her people. Initially seen as a love interest for Sheppard, she joins our team’s effort to defeat our common enemy in the Wraith and their budding romance becomes playful sexual tension as they focus on their mission. She proves herself early on to be a surprisingly scrappy fighter, a survivor under any circumstances and an invaluable source of knowledge about the people and worlds we will be visiting. The producers are looking for an actress of any ethnicity for the role, which is listed as being between 20 and 25 years old.

    The series will debut as a two-hour movie in summer 2004, featuring appearances by certain members of the SG-1 team. Following its premiere, “Stargate: Atlantis” will assume a regular hourly slot, scheduled as a companion series to “Stargate SG-1.” The Sci-Fi has commissioned a 20-episode order for the series. While a joint press release by MGM and the network announced that the series will be executive produced by “Stargate: SG-1” co-creator Brad Wright and also Robert C. Cooper, casting documents list John Smith as an executive producer as well.

    The initial installment of the series is written by Brad Wright and Robert Cooper.

    The Scorecard
    Executive Producers: Brad Wright, Robert Cooper and John Smith
    Director: TBD
    Writers: Brad Wright and Robert Cooper
    Casting Director: Paul Weber and Zora DeHorter
    Start Date: February, 2004
    Location: Vancouver
    Production Company: MGM
    Network: Sci-Fi Channel