By Michael Ausiello
Updated December 15, 2008 at 12:00 PM EST

Not unlike a certain battery-operated bunny, the Stargate franchise keeps going and going and going…

To wit: Scottish thesp Robert Carlyle (The Full Monty) has been tapped to headline the brand’s third live-action series, Stargate Universe. Carlyle, most recently seen in Fox’s 24: Redemption pic, will play Dr. David Rush, the leader of a group of soldiers, scientists, and civilians who have been stranded on an ancient ship in the far reaches of space.

“We are very excited about having an actor of this caliber, around which we can build a strong, character-based series,” said series creators Brad Wright and Robert Cooper in an exclusive statement. “Robert Carlyle will engage a broad audience and we hope to deliver a show that demonstrates to new viewers that the loyalty of longtime fans of the Stargate franchise has been well-deserved.”

SGU, which will launch via a two-hour movie on Sci Fi next July, is being billed as the edgy, rebellious sibling to Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis. Or as Wright/Cooper put it: “We see SGU as an innovative step forward and an opportunity to expand the franchise.”

Is the casting of Carlyle a step in the right direction? Sound off below, Gatethrashers (or whatever it is you people call yourselves)!