Writer Dean Devlin talks the STARGATE reboot trilogy: It will finish telling the story

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I’ve mentioned it before, but Stargate has incredible nostalgic value for me. I was raised by a mom who loved taking my brother and I to the movies. There was barely a weekend that went by where she wasn’t taking us to see something. However, as we got older and her working conditions changed, our cinema-going waned off considerably to the point where years passed without me seeing the inside of a cinema again.

That was until 1994 when a friend asked me to join him to watch some new sci-fi movie he had heard about. The movie was Stargate and I instantly fell love with it. I watched it thrice in the next two weeks, and then the day after my last rewatch, I went back and decided to watch something else. Then again the weekend after that… And after that… And just like that my love of movies had been rekindled and has never waned since. And it was all thanks to this crazy movie that combined my love of both sci-fi and Egyptian mythology, which came from the minds of director Roland Emmerich and writer Dean Devlin.

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Two years later, the duo would truly become Hollywood A-listers with the massive runaway success of Independence Day, but it all started with Stargate. A movie, Devlin tells Variety, that was nothing more than a labour of love.

“At the time that we made it, every single studio in Hollywood had told me that science fiction was dead. And Roland and I really love science fiction, so I think that’s partly why it worked and resonated. It wasn’t a cynical attempt to try and make something that was crowd-pleasing.”

Despite my love of it, and my personal box office contributions, Stargate received mixed critical receptions, and was only mildly commercially successful. However, it did spawn a TV series follow-up three years later, with SyFy’s Stargate SG-1 going on to become one of the most beloved sci-fi shows of the late 1990’s/early 2000’s over the course of its 10 seasons. Emmerich and Devlin had just about nothing to do with Stargate SG-1 though (even the characters were now played by different actors, and there was quite a tonal change), as they were too busy off becoming box office record-setting stars with Independence Day.

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And therein lies the problem, as Devlin reveals that they had always planned Stargate to be the first chapter in a trilogy, but “because of what happened with the rights and changes at the studio and all kinds of strange things, we never got to do parts two and three.” Devlin and Emmerich now plan to fix that oversight though, as they announced last year that a feature film reboot of the franchise was in development. But why a reboot? Why not just do a long-delayed sequel like they just did with Independence Day: Resurgence?

“It’s not a story that can take place 20 years later. So the only way to really tell that trilogy is to go back from the beginning and start the story all over again…

“It was taken away from us, and it’s tough to have your children raised by other parents, even if they do a very good job… For us, it’s not putting down what has been done. It’s to let us finish telling our story.”

In other words, you should probably forgot everything you know about Colonel Jack O’Neill and Dr. Daniel Jackson and all the adventures they’ve had over the years. This will be something completely new. Although, I have a feeling that we may just see this new Stargate return to TV as well. My suspicions comes purely from the fact that studios love a franchise where they can leverage money in as many ways as possible, and Stargate definitely has that potential. After spinoffs Stargate: Atlantis and Stargate Universe were both cancelled a few years back, there was a definite gap in the sci-fi landscape that nothing else has really filled since.

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And Jonathan Glickman, president of MGM’s Motion Picture Group, explained to variety that when he got the top job in 2011, the Stargate franchise as a whole “had been dormant and, for lack of a better term, it had played itself out at that moment.” It was recognized back then already that there was some potential to bringing it back, but “the only way to really give a boost of adrenaline and give the franchise the rebirth that it deserves was to bring back Roland and Dean.”

The problem right now is just the two men’s schedules as Emmerich’s directing slate is incredibly packed at the moment with historical drama Battle of Midway, high-concept sci-fi Confluence, true-story historical adventure Maya Lord, alien invasion Emergence and Arctic-set thriller Rise all on his card. On top of that, after getting behind the camera on several episodes of TV series Leverage and The Librarians, Devlin is set to make his feature film directing debut in 2017 with the disaster film Geostorm. So when it comes to when we’ll actually get to see this new Stargate reboot trilogy, Emmerich explains that “It took very long for ‘Independence Day,’ so it will probably also take equally long.”

So are you excited to see Stargate returning to our screens again, or do you think they should rather leave this be as the awesome piece of nostalgia it is right now? After recently watching Emmerich and Devlin’s latest in Independence Day: Resurgence, I’m really not so sure anymore.

 

Last Updated: June 21, 2016

Kervyn Cloete

A man of many passions - but very little sleep - I've been geeking out over movies, video games, comics, books, anime, TV series and lemon meringues as far back as I can remember. So show up for the geeky insight, stay for the delicious pastries.

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