Excited (or devastated) that Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin were going to return Stargate to its roots by rebooting the 1994 film and ignoring all the television shows that came after it?
Well, brace yourself for disappointment (jubilation). As of now, a return to the world of Stargate from Emmerich and Devlin is officially dead in the slipstream.
Devlin shared the news with Empire, saying that while the project was getting off to a fast start, once all the details started getting in the way, he might as well have been trying to sprint through quicksand.
“It looked good for a couple of months, but now it’s not looking so good. There are just a lot of things that have to fire at the same time, and there was a moment where I thought it was all firing at the same time, and then it all kind of fell apart.”
Devlin, who wrote the original movie starring Kurt Russell and a young James Spader with Emmerich, was talking to media about the return of his series, The Librarians, which returns for its third season on TNT on Nov. 20.
While there could be a ton of reward for doing a new Stargate right, there also is a lot of pressure that comes with it. Devlin saw that first-hand with Independence Day: Resurgence which didn’t even come close to matching its 1996 box office total, even before adjusting for inflation. Resurgence earned $387.6 million globally, compared to the unadjusted $817.4 million for the original Independence Day, meaning we might not be seeing any sequels to that anytime soon, either.
In fact, Dark Horizons suggests it could be the failure of Resurgence that made MGM skittish to move forward with a remake of a film that earned just a fraction of what Independence Day did back in the day – despite the franchise’s television success.
Yet, there’s also a question on who might actually make the film. MGM had the distribution rights for the film in America back in the 1990s, and maintained its control over the television rights through successive series like Stargate SG-1, Stargate: Atlantis and Stargate: Universe. However, MGM filed for bankruptcy in 2010, and has since been controlled by a holding company that includes its former creditors as its owners.
That has not made it easy for MGM to release films. In fact, the last film to carry the MGM banner was 2010’s Hot Tub Time Machine. While it continues to serve as a distributor for films like last year’s James Bond film Spectre, it primarily co-produces films now with the likes of Paramount Pictures for this year’s Ben-Hur and Sony’s Columbia Pictures for last September’s The Magnificent Seven.
All of that means the water Devlin and Emmerich would have to wade through are murky at best, as Devlin describes.
“You’d have several studios involved, and a lot of voices. And, you know, you may make something great, but you also may have something that doesn’t resemble what you wanted to do. That kind of ‘collaboration’ is a terrifying aspect of the whole thing.”
“Listen, I think if we did Stargate right, the fans would like it, and we could do something really good. But if we screw it up, they’ll reject it. As they should. But I kind of don’t want to do it if I think that we’ll screw it up, and that’s one of the things that’s holding us back.”
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