Joseph Mallozzi just might be a science fiction god. He’s been the man behind the curtain for some of the best science fiction shows for nearly two decades. He started off as the co-producer on Stargate SG-1 back in 2000 and would eventually become an executive producer on the show by 2004. He would go on to executive produce Stargate: Atlantis and SGU Stargate Universe. Most recently he acted as the showrunner and executive producer on SyFy’s Dark Matter. Currently, he’s in the middle of organizing a social media push to get MGM to give the green light to a fourth in-canon Stargate series.
We got the chance to chat with Joe about Dark Matter, Stargate, and of course comics. We also discussed some other projects he has coming up in the pipeline.
Bounding Into Comics (BIC): I was really saddened to see Dark Matter get canceled after the third season. I really liked what you guys were doing with the show and absolutely loved all of the characters. I think the actual characters were my favorite part and Zoie Palmer’s Android was definitely my favorite. How far did you have the story planned out following Season 3?
Joseph Mallozzi (Joe): I actually had the full five season story arc, along with each of the main character arcs, developed (beginning, middle, and end) before we even went into production on the series. One of the great things about having a detailed game plan in mind is it allows you to leave narrative breadcrumbs – hints and set-ups for future payoffs down the line. The cancellation was extremely frustrating. Being denied the opportunity to finish my story and offer fans some sort of closure doubly so.
BIC: I know I was super disappointed when I heard the show got cancelled. And now learning there were at least two more seasons just sucks even more! Do you still revisit the Dark Matter world and add to it?
Joe: Not really. As I said, I had pretty detailed plans for where I wanted everything and everyone to end up. I even shared some of said details with fans, everything from the fate of SIX to the Android rebellion, FOUR’s redemption, FIVE’s sister, and the mysterious Kryden…
BIC: You acted as showrunner for Dark Matter, what exactly does that entail and how involved in the creative process do showrunners normally get?
Joe: Showrunners are the creative heart of a show. In my case, I created the show, developed it with my longtime writing partner, oversaw the writers room, wrote half the scripts, rewrote every script, oversaw general prep and production of every episode, oversaw production, tried to be on set as much as possible, and oversaw post-production. A showrunner should be involved in practically all aspects of prep, production, and post.
BIC: Is there any hope of bringing the show to Netflix or any other streaming services?
Joe: At present, no. The best we can hope for at this point is that the show builds a following through word of mouth and that somehow convinces one of the major player to give us a miniseries.
BIC: Is there a possibility of continuing the series through the comic book akin to what we see Dark Horse doing with Firefly and Buffy the Vampire Slayer?
Joe: I love the comic book world and have been an avid reader since I was a kid. There is a possibility that Dark Matter continues in this format, but it’s a possibility that has yet to be pursued.
BIC: Speaking of comic books, what are some of your favorites that you are reading now?
Joe: I’ve been a longtime fan of Saga, The October Faction, Afterlife With Archie, Black Hammer to name but a few.
BIC: You recently revealed you are also working on a new Stargate series. What can you tell us about it?
Joe: Actually, I’m not working on a new Stargate series. I’m leading an online charge to have former SG-1, Atlantis, and Universe co-creators Brad Wright and Robert Cooper assume the creative reins of a fourth Stargate series. Fandom is rallying in a big way and we’re hoping to send MGM a message.
BIC: I’m assuming there are already at least some rough plans for the potential new Stargate series. Can give you us any clues as to what we might expect if it does get the green light? I know you detailed a pretty exciting intro in one of your blog posts, which I think would be a fantastic entry point.
Joe: I actually have no plans outside of wishing Brad Wright and Robert Cooper, the co-creators of the previous Stargate incarnations, all the best in creating a new, fourth season – provided this campaign works and they get the chance.
BIC: MGM seems interested in bringing the franchise back. Are there any specifics they are looking for from the social media campaign to get us traveling back through the Stargate?
Joe: We’re looking to unite fandom on a specific platform (twitter) at a specific date and time (Friday, March 9th at 9 pm EST, 6 pm EST for North American fans and Saturday, March 10th at 9 pm GMT for international fans) where they can make their voices heard in a big way. We’re looking to tag and trend, make a lot of noise.
BIC: Do you see this potential new Stargate series coming out on cable or do you think MGM will mimic CBS’ Star Trek and put it on their own streaming service?
Joe: I do believe they’ll look to their streaming platform, StargateCommand, first – but who knows? I can think of some great homes. And a not-so-great one. We’ll see.
BIC: Are you working on any other projects?
Joe: I’m in development on multiple projects – pilot scripts, adaptations, etc. In this business, you have to keep busy because you never know what will get that elusive green light.
BIC: Anything you can tell us about any of those potential projects? Are they all science fiction? Any IPs we might recognize as part of those adaptations?
Joe: Alas, I can’t reveal too much but I can tell you that: 3 are original scifi series, 1 is an adaptation of an upcoming SF novel, 1 is an adaptation of a horror novel, 1 is a comic book adaptation, 1 is a potential video game adaptation, and several others are too insubstantial to bother mentioning at this point. Oh and if the pieces fall into place, I may be connected to a big announcement in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!
BIC: You’ve successfully launched a television franchise through a comic book with Dark Matter – do you see a greater trend where comic books will be launching pads for movies and television series?
Joe: Oh, it’s already happening. Take a look at Mark Millar’s big deal with Netflix or the upcoming Umbrella Academy series. Everyone loves IP, those established properties with a pre-existing fanbase!
BIC: If you could work with one actor or actress who would it be?
Joe: To be honest, it’s less a case of which actor or actress I’d like to work with and more a desire to collaborate with some of the amazing actors and actresses I’ve work with in the past. And there are a lot of them.
BIC: Who would be at the top of your list to work with again?
Joe: Honestly, too many to cite. Everyone I worked with on Dark Matter for starters? Then work my way back from SGU through SGA to SG-1. The list is way too long, trust me.
BIC: If you were able to get your hands on any IP and craft a story who or what would it be?
Joe: Would love to take a crack at Blake’s 7 or Space 1999. If FOX ever decides to do a Planet of the Apes series, I’d be all over it. Also, I’m very intrigued by this upcoming Judge Dredd series. 2012’s Dredd starring Karl Urban is an under appreciated gem.
BIC: Oh you and me both with Dredd. It’s one of my top five favorite movies! What advice do you have for folks who are looking to get their feet wet in Science Fiction television?
Joe: You are spoiled! There’s so much fantastic programming out there. I would direct you according to your respective tastes. What are you looking for? Provocative near-future scifi? I would suggest Black Mirror. Hard SF? Perhaps the Expanse is for you. Fun, character-driven action-adventure SF? Try Stargate, Farscape, Dark Matter, Firefly.
BIC: How can folks find you and stay up to date with everything Stargate, Dark Matter, and beyond?
Joe: Oh, that’s easy. Come swing by my blog: www.josephmallozzi.wordpress.
BIC: Thanks for chatting with us we really appreciate it and we can’t wait to see a new Stargate series. SG-1 was one of my favorite television shows growing up. The sense of adventure captured my imagination!
Joe: Of Course! Thanks!