The blueprint for Roland Emmerich’s entire career over the last three decades can be traced back to Stargate. It might have been the filmmaker’s sixth directorial effort, and second Hollywood production after Universal Soldier, but all of the trademarks that saw him become cinema’s ‘Master of Disaster’ are present and accounted for.
It’s got a high concept premise and a big budget that sees characters with scientific and military backgrounds forced to work together in order to save the day, a recurring motif that was also present in Emmerich’s Independence Day, Godzilla, The Day After Tomorrow, 2012 and his upcoming Moonfall. The cast, meanwhile, was led by Kurt Russell and James Spader, both talented and recognizable stars but not quite genuine A-listers at the time, which is another one of the director’s signatures when filling out his blockbuster ensembles.
It was a solid success at the box office, too, after hauling in close to $200 million, but Stargate is arguably best remembered these days for the sprawling multimedia franchise that led to multiple TV shows, a web series, novels, comic books, video games and much more. Emmerich and regular collaborator Dean Devlin were planning a fresh trilogy a few years back that ended up dead in the water, but the original 1994 blockbuster is now streaming on Netflix for new and old fans to enjoy.
Talk of a feature-length reboot has reared its head on more than one occasion recently, and with the expanded Stargate universe having lain dormant for a while, it’ll be interesting to see how the movie performs on the world’s most popular streaming service. It’s never been what you’d call a marquee sci-fi brand, but there are still plenty of people who would love to have the mythology continued in some fashion.