When I was a kid, I went to the cinema a lot with my mom, a fellow movie lover. However, thanks to my changing to a more time consuming job and us moving a distance away from a local cinema, there was a period in the early 90s where I didn’t step foot in a cinema for years. That all changed in 1994 with the release of writer/director Roland Emmerich and co-writer/producer Dean Devlin’s sci-fi blockbuster Stargate. Not only was it the first film I saw in cinemas again after my hiatus, but I loved it so much that I went back and saw it three times (one of those with my mom).
Of course, that would be the last time Stargate was to be seen on the big screen. Instead of the usual route of a surprise hit film getting a sequel churned out almost immediately, MGM instead decided to do a soft reboot/sequel TV series. And while loved the subsequent show, Stargate SG1 and it’s spinoffs dearly (my affection is well-documented on this site), I would have given anything for more big screen Stargate adventures.
Well, according to Devlin, not only were there supposed to be more, but they were going to be “wild”. Chatting on Gateworld’s Dial the Gate podcast (via SyFy), Devlin revealed that he and Emmerich had originally planned to make this a film trilogy. Following on from the Egyptian focused first film, the first sequel would have tackled how aliens interacted with the ancient Mayans, another culture known for their pyramids (which was established in the first film to be landing platforms for alien ships).
[T]here was going to be three major addresses. And that’s why we needed the nine [chevrons]… We had big plans for it, but we never got to explore it … There are two different places on Earth that are famous for pyramids. And one was an Egyptian, and our second was going to be a Mayan culture.
I definitely love the idea of a Mayan-centric Stargate film just for the potential imagery as well as the pantheon of gods that could be tapped into here. As fans of SG1 will know though, this was a concept which actually got explored in the TV series with the likes of Zipacna (a still-unknown Kevin Durand), the Goa’uld being who in Mayan culture was considered a demon. The Tollan, a highly advanced race of humans encountered by the SG1 team, were also descendants of Earth’s ancient Mayans.
So yes, a Stargate sequel focused on Mayan culture sounds like it could have been great. However, where things get… interesting though is where Devlin and Emmerich planned to take the story for their trilogy capper. Not content to just focus on pyramids anymore, they wanted to change their scope to encompass… well, everything!
And then the third was going to tie in almost every mystery that we’ve ever had on Earth. Whether it was Bigfoot, or the Yeti — we were going to tie everything together into a larger mythology. And it was going to be so much fun. It was going to be so wild. But we never got to go there. We never got to explore it.
Yeaaaaaaah, I’m not so sure about this one. Bigfoot or the Yeti? Nah, I’m cool. This “kitchen sink” approach sounds a bit too bonkers even for me. And seeing as Emmerich and Devlin are definitely not filmmakers known for their measured storytelling, I have doubts they would be able to cram “every mystery we’ve ever had on Earth” into a movie without it getting really silly.
And seeing just how terrible Independence Day: Resurgence, the sequel to the duo’s other 1990s sci-fi blockbuster hit, Independence Day, turned out when they tried to expand the scope massively there, I’m sort of glad we didn’t go the same route with Stargate. As for the future of the franchise, Emmerich and Devlin’s plans to reboot it on the big screen have fallen apart over the last few years, but it looks like we’re close to getting something major happening on TV again. Hopefully without Bigfoot.
Last Updated: November 1, 2020