Robert Carlyle will play the lead in SCI FI Channel's new series "Stargate Universe."
"SGU," the third installment in the cable channel's "Stargate" franchise, hails from "Stargate SG-1" and "Stargate Atlantis" co-creators Brad Wright and Robert Cooper, who will write and executive produce the new series.
SCI FI Channel is expected to give the MGM TV-produced "SGU" a 20-episode order.
Production on the series is slated to begin in February in Vancouver. It is targeted to launch in the summer with a two-hour premiere.
Described as edgier, darker and younger-skewing than its predecessors, "SGU" follows a group of soldiers, scientists and civilians left to fend for themselves when forced through a Stargate after their hidden base comes under attack. The survivors, who emerge aboard an ancient ship missing in the far reaches of space, are led by Dr. David Rush (Carlyle), who works to unlock the ship's mysteries and return the group home but also might have ulterior motives.