Dean Devlin has done something that many fans thought was not possible: He actually said something nice about the television franchise loosely based on his 1994 film “Stargate.”
Talking with Collider, Devlin said he still wants to follow up the 1994 film with two more to make it a trilogy. And now that the television series are done, MGM might be willing to get it going.
While shows like “Stargate SG-1,” “Stargate: Atlantis” and “Stargate: Universe” were in the way of his project of the last decade or so, the fact that they existed at all is a good sign for his planned films — even if they completely ignore the canon they establish.
“The thing ins, clearly — look, I don’t know the TV series. I didn’t watch it, I wasn’t involved in making it,” Devlin said. “But the fact that it had such longevity and has such a giant fan base … clearly they did something that was worthwhile. But I think it shows that there is an audience that wants to hear this story told. So I think there’s a lot of interest in trying to make that happen.”
Devlin established himself as a film writer in the early 1990s, responsible for big-time science-fiction hits like “Independence Day” in 1996 and later “Godzilla.” However, despite keeping a far distance from the Stargate television series (which eventually would air on Syfy), Devlin moved into television himself with work on the miniseries “The Triangle” in 2005 as well as the TNT series “Leverage.”
While he was a writer and producer for “Stargate,” that film grossed $71.6 million domestically, compared to “Independence Day,” which had a total North American haul of $306.2 million.
But then again, “Stargate” was produced independently, and was picked up by MGM after it had already been made. And it’s that sale that has hurt the film side of the franchise, Devlin said.
“We had three movies that we wanted to tell,” he said. “We raised that money [for the first film] out of France and did the movie independently. And, literally, our financiers got cold feet just before the movie came out, and they sold it to MGM. So that’s why it’s been all tied up.”
But there is hope now that there are new people in charge of the studio.
“We’ve been having conversations with them,” Devlin said. “Our hope is that we can finally now, after all this time, get to tell the complete story. So with a little luck, we’ll be able to do that.”
If such a project happens, it would join Battlestar Galactica as franchises that could potentially get films that had nothing to do with popular television series made within the franchise. Last year, Bryan Singer said he would create a “Battlestar Galactica” film outside of the Syfy series with the help of “Anonymous” writer John Orloff.
At the same time, Harry Potter director David Yates said he was interested in doing a film version of “Doctor Who,” although current television showrunner Steven Moffat has said such a project is not in the works, despite Yates’ statements to the contrary.