In the world of Dean Devlin, there is no “Stargate SG-1.” No “Stargate: Atlantis.” And certainly no “Stargate: Universe.”
For Devlin, it’s only the 1994 film he wrote with Roland Emmerich. And now he’s ready to bring that film franchise back.
“Stargate has always had this empty hole,” Devlin recently told The Hollywood Reporter. “When we made the first one, we always intended on doing [parts] two and three, and we were prevented for years. And our hope is that we can get another chance at Stargate and tell the entire story we wanted to tell.”
It’s not clear exactly what prevented Devlin from doing the future films, except for many his workload and the fact that Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer had adapted the series to television, beginning with “SG-1” in 1997.
Devlin’s film, which was directed by Emmerich, starred Kurt Russell as Col. Jack O’Neil (a variant spelling of what would be used later in the series), and James Spader as Dr. Daniel Jackson. It earned $196.6 million worldwide, easily making up its $55 million production budget.
When Showtime ordered a series based on the film a few years after its release, both Devlin and Emmerich refused to have their names associated with the project. And it seems that little has changed since then about their opinions of where the franchise has gone.
It’s likely, then, that a potential Stargate sequel would follow closely to the first film, and ignore all the television elements. It is unclear if Russell and Spader would reprise their roles as O’Neil and Jackson. Russell, who was 43 when “Stargate” premiered, turned 61 in August. Spader, who was 34 when the original movie premiered, is 52 now. Yet, nothing precludes the two from playing older versions of their characters, all part of a new adventure.
Yet, when “Stargate 2” is made could depend on what happens with the proposed “Independence Day” sequels. That seems to be foremost on Devlin’s mind at the moment.
“I can tell you that Roland and I have been working together for the first time in 11 years, and we’re very excited about the idea of doing it,” Devlin said. “Whether or not we can make this happen, if we can get all the pieces to come together, that’s going to be challenging. But creatively, for the very first time since we did the original, I feel we have a worthy concept, a worthy path to go.”
“Independence Day” was released in 1996 and starred Will Smith, Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum, Mary McDonnell and Judd Hirsch. The film was an early summer blockbuster tentpole, grossing $817.4 million worldwide, all on a $75 million budget. The trick, however, will be seeing if Smith — who has since been twice nominated for an Oscar — will return. That could be a sticking point.
Devlin, however, remained coy.
“We’re beginning a long process of talking to everybody,” he said. “We’ll just have to see what happens.”
Devlin and Emmerich last worked together on “The Patriot” in 2000, a Revolutionary War piece that starred Mel Gibson, and introduced the world to Heath Ledger.