Stargate: The Ark of Truth

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Précis

As SG-1 searches for an Ancient artifact which they hope can defeat the armies of the Ori, they learn more Ori ships are about to be sent through the Supergate to launch a final assault on Earth. Daniel discovers that the artifact, the Ark of Truth, may be in the Ori home galaxy, and SG-1 embarks aboard the Odyssey to find it, and pre-empt the attack. The IOA has a plan of their own and SG-1 ends up in a distant galaxy fighting two powerful enemies.

Movie Guide | Transcript |  Production Notes | Screencaps

MGM Official Summary

The official summary is not yet available as this movie has yet to be produced.

Spoilers

Note: Latest updates are in color.

Storyline

The conflict with the Ori comes to a climax. The team travels to the Ori galaxy.

"As SG-1 searches for an Ancient artifact which they hope can defeat the armies of the Ori, they learn more Ori ships are about to be sent through the supergate to launch a final assault on Earth. Daniel discovers that the artifact, the Ark of Truth, may be in the Ori home galaxy, and SG-1 embarks aboard the Odyssey to find it, and pre-empt the attack. The IOA has a plan of their own and SG-1 ends up in a distant galaxy fighting two powerful enemies." — Business Wire, MGM Greenlights New Stargate Movies, January 15, 2007.

Additional information released March 6, 2007:

Vala’s husband Tomin survived the events of “Line in the Sand” and surrenders to Vala for help in stopping the crusade he had once faithfully served. The team flew a cargo ship to Dakara where an Ori warship is in orbit. They eliminated the Prior, but were left with no means to pilot the warship. Tomin warned them that another warship was not far behind, so they decided to leave the warship in orbit, not wishing to kill anyone onboard.

Tomin has warned Vala that there is to be another wave of warships coming through the Supergate soon with Earth as the primary target.

Apparently, since this time, the team has searched for the Ark of Truth, but has not been successful in locating it.

The IOA sends a representative, James Merek, who is substituting for Richard Woolsey who is tied up with the Atlantis Expedition. He is there to interrogate Tomin. Immediately, he questions Mitchell’s decision to leave the Ori warship in orbit over Dakara instead of destroying it. He points out that the warship should have been eliminated, but Mitchell said there were people onboard. Mitchell stated that their hope was that they’d not have to kill any more crusaders once the Ark is uncovered, but they haven’t found it. Merek reminds Mitchell and Landry that the SGC would not exist if it weren’t for the IOA, and then goes to interrogate Tomin.

Merek interrogates Tomin in a small room as Vala, Mitchell, and Teal’c look on from behind a two-way mirror. Tomin tells him that he has already told them all that he knows, but Merek attempts to shake Tomin up with pointed questions, such as how many innocent people he has personally killed in the crusade. Tomin is struggling with the fact that he has been following false gods, and Merek attempts to make sure he is telling the truth instead of leading them on with false information. Merek wants more information about how to defend against the attack.

Vala becomes upset at Merek’s treatment of Tomin. They had treated him as a guest up to this point, but Merek is treating him like a prisoner. Tomin wants to go with Vala and her team to help them make contact with an Anti-Ori underground and locate a place called Ortus Mallum [possibly the location of the Ark, but no details are available as to the significance of this place].

Production Notes

  • Announcement of the movie was made online by TV Guide, October 11, 2006:
Stargate SG-1 may be winding down its 10-year-run this spring, but here’s some exciting news for its fans. MGM has granted a green light — and enough money — to produce two movies, most likely for DVD, executive producer Brad Wright tells TV Guide. The first flick will tie up most of the finale’s loose threads — “It’s the climax of the Ori story line” — and will be written-directed by exec producer Robert Cooper. The second film, penned by Wright, will involve time travel, and both projects should debut in the fall of 2007. Though no deals are signed, SG-1’s stars are said to be “very eager” to continue.
“They’re not big-budget [films] by any definition, but for us it’s pretty good,” says Wright. “As we’ve proven over the years, just give us little more money and we can make pretty good television, or DVDs.
“There’s a sense of an era for us ending,” Wright continues, “but at the same time, we’re all positive because of the prospect of continuing forward with movies and the introduction next year of Stargate Worlds, a massive multiplayer online game.”
  • Michael Shanks comments on his interest in being a part of these movies: "Oh yeah, absolutely," he says. "We know that it's going to be a better way to take some time and tell some good stories instead of what we've been doing a lot of years - telling some good stories and some not so good. This time we can really take our time and I think it's a dream fulfilled for a lot of people. Certainly a better wish would be to do a big budget feature film, but to do things like this, with less time commitment and more care taken, is something that we all are very interested in doing; especially if this is going to be the end of the road, then this is a great way to go out." — Michael Shanks, "Skating Past The Gate" Interview on Michael Shanks Online, October 2006.
  • "Asked about the DVD movies, he [Michael Shanks] said he doesn't know much, but one is supposed to resolve the Ori storyline [...] He doesn't know much and only found out the movies had been green-lit on the internet while he was in Bulgaria." — Solutions Features: Burbank Creation Con Report by Michelle, November 2006.
  • "As a matter of fact, just last night Brad [Wright] and I were talking about how we're going to work live orchestra into the movies. And we were just discussing that and how, logistically, we were going to do that. Because there is a little more budget on that. So we can do it." — Joel Goldsmith, composer, Interview at Gateworld, December 2006.
  • IGN Interviews Michael Shanks, published December 18, 2006:
IGN TV: Though there isn't going to be a next season, there was an announcement that movies would be in the works. Are you set to appear in the movies and is there anything you can tell us about what the movies will center around? I didn't know if you'd got those scripts yet or not. I know I heard something about filming starting in April and June.
Shanks: I just finished negotiations - I think most of the cast has finished for appearances in movies - as far as I know, you guys by reading stuff on the Internet know as much as I do, because all we knew were we were going to do two movies, and Rob and Brad were going to pull away from the Atlantis franchise and focus on doing these movies - Rob was going to write one and Brad was going to write one. Rob was going to direct one and I think Martin Wood was going to direct the other.
We know the first shoot date of the first movie is April 15th and the second is around June 1st. As much as I know about the story, the first one Rob is writing and directing has to do with wrapping up the Ori storyline, which is the storyline that has taken prominence for the last two years of the show. I don't know if he is going to wrap it up completely or bring it to some conclusion for the sake of the fans and the franchise, to bring that epic struggle to a close…I don't know how he is going to do it in two hours but it will be pretty interesting to watch.
[...] Quite frankly that is as much as I know. I haven't even talked to the guys about it. They told us these pitches in September, so I haven't talked to anyone since then so that could've changed overnight, I have no idea. Everybody is very excited to close the book on the show and maybe it will introduce the possibility of continuing the franchise in the DVD format or taking it to another level and boosting it up to a feature film or it just might be on closing the book on it or another spinoff - who knows. There is a lot of potential for the franchise and it would be a shame just for it to end, but it has been a wonderful run.
  • "... I did read Rob's outline. Whooowheee! It is going to be huge! I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. By now, he's had plenty of practice writing series finales. I'd drop some hints but, having seen my poem, Rob has requested the right to perform a Stargate rap in which he will cleverly offer up hints to the upcoming movie." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, January 4, 2007.
  • "Regarding yesterday's post, SG-1 Forever writes: 'Jack would be awesome! Can you tell us if he's in the movies, Joe?' Answer: Nothing to report on this front (sorry)..." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, January 10, 2007.
  • Solutions Blog: Cooper, Wright Talk Stargate's Future, January 14, 2007:
    • The pay-off of the Ori storyline will be in the first DVD movie, which RCC is writing and directing. He had planned it as an arc for Season 11, but will now resolve it in a “very exciting” two hours. MGM has financed the movies based only on projected DVD sales, but are looking for broadcast deals as well. The funding for each of the 2 DVD movies is more than it would be for 2 episodes, but still nowhere near a feature-type budget, so they will be using their creativity to make it look big on a TV-movie budget. All of the main cast have signed for the movie, and they have contacted RDA about appearing as O’Neill in one or both movies. No work on whether that will work out business-wise or not.
    • Because the first DVD movie will be a continuation of Season 10, the DVD will include a 1-hour special on the history of Stargate so that viewers who haven’t seen all of Stargate will know what is going on. The special will be called “Stargate Mythology” and will include material on how real-world ancient mythology has played into the Stargate shows.
    • The movies will not be tied to an exact length, so they can edit them to have all the scenes and shots that make sense for the stories, rather than being tied to 44:15 like they were for episodes. They will also be shot in widescreen 16×9 format without ‘protecting’ the center of the screen, for a movie-like feel.
    • The movies will keep RCC and BW busy until the summer time. They are writing now, planning of 4 weeks of shooting for each starting in mid April, then the usual post-production.
    • The first SG-1 DVD movie will be called Stargate: The Ark of Truth. In it, the team will travel to the Ori galaxy. The Ori arc will end with this movie.
    • He [Brad Wright] does not feel going direct to DVD for the movies is a bad thing. As home theaters become so good, more and more people prefer to watch movies on DVD. The 16×9 widescreen format gives them a lot more freedom to film in a movie style as well, rather than having to keep all the action in the center of the screen for 4×3 TV’s.
  • "As SG-1 searches for an Ancient artifact which they hope can defeat the armies of the Ori, they learn more Ori ships are about to be sent through the supergate to launch a final assault on Earth. Daniel discovers that the artifact, the Ark of Truth, may be in the Ori home galaxy, and SG-1 embarks aboard the Odyssey to find it, and pre-empt the attack. The IOA has a plan of their own and SG-1 ends up in a distant galaxy fighting two powerful enemies." — Business Wire, MGM Greenlights New Stargate Movies, January 15, 2007.
  • "Anonymous #5 writes: “I read in Variety that Beau Bridges is going to be starring in a new show for Fox. Does this mean General Landry won't be in the movies?” Answer: Congratulations to Beau who is hilarious on My Name is Earl and I’m sure will prove just as hilarious on his new series. And, yes, General Landry will be making an appearance in both SG-1 movies." — Joseph Mallozzi, Personal Blog, February 21, 2007.
  • Fans who attended the Vancouver Con held March 22-26, 2007, report in their journals and forums that Robert C. Cooper read a few pages from the script and that it sounds like it is set at the time when the Altera hid the Ark of Truth and then fled their home galaxy millions of years ago. This was also thought to be the opening scene and might very well be similar to the way viewers were shown the city-ship Atlantis leave the Antarctic several million years ago at the beginning of the pilot "Rising" for Stargate Atlantis.
  • Greg Anderson (Administrator/Prior of the Ori) stated on The Scifi World's forum that he will be in the movie, April 6, 2007.
  • Morena Baccarin (Adria) is supposed to be in the movie, but there are some scheduling concerns to be addressed as she is also filming the TV series Heartland for TNT. — The Scifi World interview with Morena Baccarin, April 13, 2007. Apparently the scheduling issues were taken care of and Adria is in the film, according to Joseph Mallozzi in his May 17, 2007 blog entry.
  • Filming for the movie is scheduled for April 17 through May 8. — British Columbia Film Commission, April 15, 2007.
  • Joseph Mallozzi's April 17 blog entry features photos taken on the first day of shooting on the set for the movie. His April 25 entry has more photos, including a Prior. Both sets of images appear to be taken in the medieval village set.
  • Joseph Mallozzi's May 1 blog entry features the testing of a full-body burn being done by the stunt crew for the movie. Also, Christopher Judge as Teal'c is featured, showing that Teal'c still has his grey hair as a result of the events from "Unending".
  • Currie Graham has been cast in the role of IOA representative James Merek [Marrick]. — Alex Levine's May 4 Blog entry at SciFi.com.
  • "In addition to attempting to keep up with this demanding shooting schedule, I have also been putting together a lengthy fight sequence for the "Ark of Truth" Movie as well.....with the help of my team, of course.....alot of help!!" — James Bamford, Fight Coordinator, Gateworld Blog, May 6, 2007.
  • "At the end, we leave Season Ten kind of hanging, twisting in the wind. So, I think the first movie — with The Ark of Truth — is closure for that storyline. So it's much of the same...we get to see the character [Daniel Jackson] where he's at his wits' end." — Michael Shanks, SciFi.com interview, May 2007.
  • Joseph Mallozzi's May 9 Blog entry features a picture of Ben Browder made up with a very bloody face, taking a lunch break.
  • "I went to go talk to Rob Cooper about tomorrow night’s Stargate SG-1 episode “Bounty”, but he’s on his last day of directing “The Ark of Truth” and they’re out at the Norco set in the Hall of Fire. The Norco set is a bit of a drive from the Studio, and I’m chained to my desk, so I couldn’t really chase down Rob. But I can tell you that, among the exciting plot points to be shot today on “The Ark of Truth” (as detailed on the call sheet), are “Daniel yanked across room” and “Coverage against green screen.” Actually, there were some much more interesting descriptions but they were spoilers so I steered wide clear. Now, I don’t know how many of you saw “Sateda,” but I’ve seen the dailies of “The Ark of Truth”, and it’s going to be another action-packed Rob Cooper extravaganza." — Alex Levine, script coordinator, SciFi.com blog, May 11, 2007.
  • Concerning filming scenes with Ben Browder, Michael Shanks stated in his May 17 blog entry at TVGuide.com that the tendency for keeping the two actors apart (presumably because they look too much alike) continues in the movies, where Shanks implies that they don't have much of an opportunity to work together (share scenes).
  • "Well we have done more multiple opponent fights recently, along with some feature film large style wire work which you should enjoy. Sheppard, Teyla, and Ronon all get their moments in the big action spotlight this season.....in addition to Mitchell in "Ark of Truth". It seems that I am a very busy man this year......much more so than any other season. I hope that you all love the sequences." — James "BamBam" Bamford, fight coordinator, GateWorld Q&A, May 17, 2007.
  • According to Joseph Mallozzi in his June 1 blog entry, Robert C. Cooper is about finished with his director's cut of the movie.
  • Gateworld confirmed that Sarah Strange will reprise her role as Morgan Le Fay. This information had first been seen in the IMDb record for the movie. — Gateworld, June 4, 2007.
  • In an interview at GateWorld, Robert C. Cooper revealed the nature of the Ark: "I find it a truly fascinating centerpiece. It's a device that essentially is a — I don't want to say 'brain-washing' — but it can be used to convince you of the truth. One of the Alteran scientists invented this device and said, 'Look, we can avoid any kind of war by just using this on them and brain-washing them.' And the rest of the Alterans said, 'No, that's just wrong. Philosophically and morally it's wrong.'" Since the device is designed to work against advanced humans, it could possibly be used against the Priors. Will SG-1 use it if and when they find it? — Robert C. Cooper, Cooper opens the Ark, June 11, 2007.
  • "The idea for the first movie [The Ark of Truth] was going to be [the] cliffhanger ending to season 10 and the start of an arc that would have lasted most of season 11, if season 11 had been picked up," Cooper said. "But that didn't happen, and we revised that concept and turned it into the story for the first movie." — Robert C. Cooper in SCI FI WIRE Interview, SG-1 Ends, Begins on DVD, June 13, 2007.
  • "It takes off where the last episode of the series began. And it’s pretty much kind of tying up some of the strings of that story. The Ori are very much involved and threatening us with one last attempt to attack us. And I actually get on a ship, which doesn’t happen very often for General Landry’s character, and I go out and get to be involved in the battle, which is kind of fun." — Beau Bridges in an interview at The Scifi World, June 23, 2007.
  • Gateworld reports that the movie won't be released until "the first half of 2008." — Gateworld, Ark of Truth will be released in 2008; June 24, 2007.
  • Gateworld interview with Michael Shanks, "Turning of the Page" (conducted in March, published on June 24, 2007):
GW: What hints can you give us about Daniel's role in Ark of Truth?
MS: From what I know about it, I think that we're off searching for an ark. [Laughter] And Daniel has some more leftover baggage with two characters in the universe. One is Merlin and the other is Ganos Lal, otherwise known as Morgan Le Fay. We have some leftover stuff that we're going to be bringing to the table that Daniel's knowledge of is going to be intricate.
He gets to be by her side -- for Vala. She has to deal with her husband -- or ex-husband, however you want to look at that -- Tomin. And Adria as well. So there's still a little leftover stuff that Daniel gets to be intricately involved with. We get to search for this secret weapon that might solve all of our problems. Of course, with the Ancient experience, and with the knowledge of the Ori, Daniel becomes intricate to that particular story.
GW: Maybe some of Merlin's marbles are still rolling around?
MS: Well, there's a residual "something" with Merlin ... and I won't give away what it is, but he will be part of this story, for sure.
  • "I was treated to a double-feature today. Not one but two spanking new SG-1 movies. [...] We headed over to the editing suite for the second showing of the day: Stargate SG-1: The Ark of Truth, written AND directed by Robert C. Cooper which does a terrific job of wrapping up the many arcs we’ve developed over the course of the show’s last two seasons: Ancients, Ori, Doci, Priors, Tomin, ship battles - and a couple of villainous surprises." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, June 28, 2007.
  • "And in fact there's an element to the movie, The Ark of Truth, that is really about that [attempting to use advanced knowledge/technology from the Asgard Legacy without completely understanding it]. Somebody -- and I don't want to give away too much -- but somebody makes the mistake of trying to use a piece of knowledge from the Asgard core, and it backfires in a way that almost leads to a galaxy-wide disaster. So, there's a little bit of a lesson to be learned and that we -- our heroes have learned -- not everyone has." — Robert C. Cooper, Gateworld interview, published June 30, 2007.
  • Joseph Mallozzi confirmed in his July 2 blog entry that Julian Sands returned as the Doci in the movie. (See Solutions blog article, July 3, 2007)
  • "Check out the amazing helicopter-shot sequence that opens Ark of Truth." — Joseph Mallozzi in his personal blog, July 4, 2007.
  • "There are some nice little details that Tim Guinee and I were able to explore in the Vala - Tomin arc. I liked how that wrapped up. Or at least how it did on the day. Not sure what made the cut! In general the loose ends which we tie up seemed to be in keeping with the style / tone of the series: things wrap up as they need to in order to restore order. [...] I think the writing was probably on the wall where Adria and Vala were concerned. No room for a grey area. So there are two ways things could go for them at story’s end; Happy families or see ya later… [...] Ark of Truth as good as killed me. We did way more overtime than I ever have on the show before." — Claudia Black, Slice of SciFi interview, posted July 15, 2007.
  • "Rob was the principal figure behind Season Nine and Season Ten, in terms of where the story went and how it changed dramatically from the adventure of Season Eight, when we were fighting the Goa'uld and the search for Atlantis and the discovery of the Ancients," Shanks says. "Rob changed that to this other thing, where it was the battle against the Ori, this evil enemy from another galaxy. So it was important that if anyone was going to write [the first Stargate movie], it should be Rob, so that he could create a conclusion and tie up those loose ends. The Ark of Truth mostly focuses on that, and involves a quest to find the ark that will help us win the fight against fearsome opponent. I have a pretty good role in it, because Daniel leads the search due to his experiences and knowledge of the Ancients. And Vala's relationship with Adria becomes important, because Adria is the key villain. So one side of the story is Daniel and Vala looking for this ark, and the other deals with some enemies at home - people who appear to be helping us, but decide to do things their own way and cause lots of problems for Mitchell and Carter." — Michael Shanks, Starlog #358, August 2007 Issue, transcribed by MSOL July 21, 2007.
  • Solutions reporter Michelle saw the new trailer at the Comic Con in San Diego on July 27, and reported what she could remember from it in the Solutions Blog:
    • Throughout the trailer, the narrator says by voice-over: “The lines have been drawn. The battle will be waged. And only one thing can save us: Stargate: The Ark of Truth. Once you journey through the gate, there’s no going back.”
    • Mitchell is commanding Odyssey, or at least in partial command. He says,”Weapons to maximum.” Mitchell says by voiceover, “Inside this Ark is the secret to destroying the Ori.” Sometime later, aboard Odyssey, he says, “It’s time to go all in!”
    • Daniel is standing in front of a wooden box about 2×3x2 feet high. It must be the Ark.
    • The Doci says, “Your gods cannot save you now.”
    • There is a scene of Daniel being dragged down a hallway by 2 Ori soldiers. He is in his green BDUs. He is unconscious or barely conscious.
    • There is a scene of Vala alone in a jail cell, trying to look outside. She appears worried. She is also dressed in green BDUs.
    • There is a voiceover of Teal’c saying with great intensity, “If you cannot fight for yourself, fight for others who will be saved through your efforts.”
    • Some of the footage was from Season 9 and 10, such as Ori ships going through a Supergate. This is surely because the special effects for the movie are not yet completed.
  • "In filming the Ark of Truth, they had to take him [Christopher Judge] up to the side of a mountain, on a very thin ridge. They filmed him with a helicopter that got very close to him at times. There were wind gusts and the helicopter downwash blew him around at times. They asked Chris to walk closer to the edge but he declined. At one point the rudder of the helicopter almost hit him. Chris said in his mind, he was thinking of the guys who’d been to the Arctic. And so he thought, 'If I don’t stay up here, I’ll never hear the end of it.'" — Michelle's report from the San Diego Comic Con (July 27, 2007), posted in the Solutions Blog on July 30, 2007.
  • Michael Shanks in an interview with Dreamwatch's Total Sci Fi, posted August 8, 2007:
In the last few seasons, Daniel had been killed, ascended, and turned into a Prior. Have you been put through the wringer again in the movies?
In season 10, he confronts an Ancient directly, whereas before he would seek to negotiate and find the idealistic approach. This time, he confronts them and says, “You need our help as much as we need yours because after they are done with us, they are going to come after you. Helping us also means helping yourself.”
In The Arc of Truth, he gets another confrontation. You see him at his weakest, where he says, “Enough! Help us!” The way Daniel would have done things before, and the way he handles it in that situation, is much more confrontational. Going and talking to God and saying, “Why do you stand still, do nothing, and allow all this evil to happen” is a nice scene to play.
  • “I don’t think there is a way to please everybody. We had a two-year arc of that particular aspect of the storyline, and to spend two hours trying to wrap it all up really quickly, I don’t think is going to please everybody. So it’s hard to say if it’s an apropos wrap-up to it. But I think it’s satisfying enough that we don’t have to leave it lingering. So it was satisfying that we finished the storyline, but Rob [Cooper] still had the presence of mind to write the characters going back up the ramp and ready to take on the next challenge, so to speak. So we can at least end with the aspect these characters are continuing to explore, and we can live on in the imagination of the viewer.” — Michael Shanks, Sci Fi Weekly interview, August 20, 2007.

Note that all spoilers are subject to change before the finished film is produced.

Cast

In Stargate Wiki Character Order:

Production

Gallery

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Season 10 DVD Set Insert, July 24, 2007
Poster from San Diego Comic Con, July 26-29, 2007

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--DeeKayP 13:17, 11 October 2006 (PDT)