This is a classic “Good News, Bad News” scenario. The Good: Stargate is coming back. The Bad: It’s coming back as a rebooted movie trilogy from original director Roland Emmerich. Oh, and additional Bad News: Emmerich has been talking about a follow-up for years.
Emmerich told Digital Spy:
“We went to MGM, who has the rights, and proposed to them to do a sequel, but as a reboot… and reboot it as a movie and then do three parts. Pretty soon we’ll have to look for a writer and start.”
Now, I give Emmerich props for getting the whole Stargate thing off the ground with the original 1994 movie. Kurt Russell and James Spader were great in their roles and the flick was enjoyable enough, but ultimately did not come close to living up to the potential of the premise. (This will be a completely new version without Russell or Spader — Emmerich said, “The actors look completely totally different… it would not work.”)
The resulting TV series, however, STARGATE SG-1, opened up the Stargate universe (pun intended) and expanded the concept, eventually living up to the premise, IMHO. Most of what I love about the franchise was developed over the course of the three TV series, SG-1, STARGARTE ATLANTIS and STARGATE UNIVERSE. I don’t really hold much affection for the original movie aside from getting the ball rolling. In fact, the movie is humorless and pretty boring, thanks to Emmerich’s glacial storytelling. I’m not surprised that he doesn’t consider the rollicking action-adventure follow-ups to be cannon.
Readers of this blog from a few years back know that I was an ardent champion of SGU, and believe it was unfairly smothered in its crib, just as it was finding its feet with more mainstream SF audiences — and ATLANTIS fans began to realize that their beloved franchise was not canceled to “make room” for SGU so they started to watch.
My dream would be for SGU to return, but alas, that seems never to happen — especially with Robert Carlyle having found much success with ONCE UPON A TIME — but any version of the TV shows would be welcomed. What I loved about the series is the way it kept evolving, exploring its own limits and transcending them. The-powers-that-be were not obsessed with hitting the reset button at the end of every episode, and so the technology kept upgrading, new alien worlds and races were added, characters came and went… In short, STARGATE shows were fun and engaging to watch.
I look forward to dialing up the franchise on the big screen once again, and hope it features at least a dash of the gruff realism that marked SGU. We may never hear, “Daniel, dial the ’gate,” again, but damn it, somebody should do it!