Not long before Independence Day made Roland Emmerich into a blockbuster king, he channelled his sci-fi interests into a little movie called Stargate. The 1994 sci-fi underdog made a decent profit at the box office, raking in around $200 million, which led to a number of TV spinoffs and straight-to-video sequels.
With plans for a rebooted Stargate universe on the horizon, producer Dean Devlin talked to Variety about what purpose they serve. It’s all about wrapping up their initial franchise plans, because even though the original film’s success spawned more titles, none were based on Emmerich and Devlin’s designs.
“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…
“…and 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.”
This is something that Devlin plans to rectify with the proposed reboots that have Independence Day: Resurgence scribes James A. Woods and Nicolas Wright attached to write. With Devlin and Emmerich overseeing development of the project they’ve made the decision to not repeat the ID:2 formula and jump two decades ahead. Far from it, they’ve opted to return to the very beginning, wiping clear the continuity from the spinoff shows and movies in which they had no involvement.
“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.”
Plans for the new Stargate trilogy are still in development at the moment, without any solid word on casting or a potential director for the first installment. But with Emmerich and Devlin back in creative command, expect a return to the underrated and quite brilliant storytelling of the original.