I’ve always held a special place in my heart for Roland Emmerich’s 1994 STARGATE film. I love it’s “look” and “style” and “sound” and its pulpish abandon.
The film also, in a very real sense, was a mammoth ingredient in the birth of AICN. Back in the days of Usenet (!?!?!?) and whatnot, Harry and I were going bonkers for the coming of this film - sharing information about it and discussing images and news morsels which we gleaned from magazines like Starlog and Cinescape and whatnot.
We shared them between ourselves via our blazingly fast 14.4 modems (ahem), and also shared them with a generally anonymous global community (ahem). Setting off a chain of reactions which led to a need to wrap such exciting and Geeky news in a different environment....a la...a ‘website.’
So here we are, nearly twenty years later, talking about STARGATE once more. Surreal an unnerving in many regards, but also strangely comforting. Seems Roland Emmerich (is Dean Devlin along for this ride?) is entering into discussions about rebooting STARGATE as a film franchise - three films from the sound of it. Emmerich is very clear to state that this is not a continuation of of his feature film, whose universe was largely re-cast and beaten into the ground (my wording, not his) by television’s STARGATE SG-1 and its numerous spin-offs. Indeed, this sounds like a full-on restart.
What’s interesting to me about this - other than I think there’s vast and unexplored potential in the STARGATE mythos even as it’s currently defined - is that Emmerich has stated all along that he’d originally hope to develop three films from the STARGATE concept he and Devlin launched back in the early 90s. If memory serves (I believe this is more or less correct - but it’s been a while, so allow a margin for error), E&D’s original intent was to more or less continue addressing the threat posed by the super-race we saw pulling the strings in the first film...but on worlds featuring extremely different environments, each presenting very different and unique threats.
Will Emmerich & Co. revisit this notion for these new pictures, or will time and re-think take The Powers That Be in very different directions - given that the TV seriese may’ve already stolen a bit of thunder in this regard? Although...most of the alien worlds on those shows looked suspiciously like Canada, so Emmerich may have some room to breathe...
Time will tell, but from the sound of matters we shouldn’t necessarily be hoping to see Kurt Russell or James Spader reprising their roles (based on the tone of Emmerich’s comments below). So I guess they’ll cast Dwayne Johnson and the glasses guy from BIG BANG THEORY instead - if this new version even has equivalent roles.
I do feel a need to clarify my above snark about the STARGATE TVverse. I have always contended, and continue to contend, that STARGATE UNIVERSE was hugely under-appreciated and misunderstood - thus is exempt from my comments regarding over-saturation and franchise fatigue. I know a number of you will disagree with me on this front, perhaps even vehemently, and feel free to do so. But you ain’t gonna convince me otherwise. In a time when Science Fiction on television is often taking the easy way out and the path of least resistance in terms of approachability and setting, SGU tried to be something different in tone and style...and frequently knocked it out of the park as far as I’m concerned.
It’s worth mentioning that1994’s STARGATE was the first film supported by an official website. Wonder what the’ll pioneer this time around?
Here’s Emmerich via DigitalSpy...a snippet which also includes word of Will Smith entering into negotiations on the new INDEPENDENCE DAY movies. More on that shortly...
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