In 1994 the original Stargate film, written and directed by Roland Emmerich, was released. The film grossed more than $200 million dollars around the world and spawned the shows Stargate: SG-1, Stargate: Atlantis, and Stargate: Universe. Though perhaps not as popular as Star Wars or Star Trek, Stargate is certainly one of the most successful sci-fi franchises out there, and word is that it will be making a return to the big screen.
Emmerich plans to write and direct a Stargate film trilogy with his co-writer on the original film, Dean Devlin, producing along with MGM and Warner Bros. The idea is to reboot or “re-imagine” the original story line.
While I love the original Stargate movie and I was a fan of Stargate: SG-1 and somewhat Stargate: Atlantis (gotta love Jewel Staite!), I’m not entirely sure I like this idea. For one thing, I find it a little strange that Emmerich is involved in the reboot. The plus side of this is that the original writer and storyteller will be responsible for the updated version. However, to me it seems you might want someone else at the helm of a reboot because I feel like a reboot should be an opportunity for someone else to give a fresh take on a story, setting, or character.
The other thing that makes me wary of this plan is that Emmerich hasn’t released a good film since Independence Day in 1996. Since then he’s been involved in a string of big budget, highly visual, terrible films. Godzilla (not the newest one), The Day After Tomorrow, 10,000 BC, and 2012 are all great examples of his less than stellar record with more recent projects. More concerning is that Emmerich’s excitement about remaking Stargate seems to have a lot to do with the fact that there are more visual tools in film than there were in 1994. While that’s great, it won’t matter if the story and the acting doesn’t hold up to the original.
I’m certainly curious to hear more about this project, and it’s very possible that it could be a great re-imagining of the original, but for now I have to say I’m not all that excited by this news.