After three successful television series spanning 14 years and 17 produced seasons, MGM is taking Stargate back to its roots.
The studio announced today that it will produce a new Stargate feature film trilogy, along with partner Warner Bros. (which will handle distribution duties). Heading up the films will be original writer-producer Dean Devlin and director Roland Emmerich, who brought the concept to life with 1994’s Stargate.
Devlin will produce the new films, with Emmerich on board to direct at least the first. Presumably they will also share writing duties.
Based on past comments from the two it seems likely that the new films will signal a “reboot” or continuation of the original, rather than a remake. It will probably pick up a suitable number of years after Stargate, and may or may not include any characters or actors from the 1994 film. (The two will also likely avoid the entirety of the television series’ continuity.)
The two have talked about wanting to revisit Stargate for years, suggesting at one point that their story could co-exist with the TV continuity. (Neither were involved when MGM called upon Brad Wright and Jonathan Glassner to adapt the premise into a television series, which premiered on Showtime in 1997.) After Stargate ended its TV run in 2011 and MGM went bankrupt (bringing a major turnover in its roster of executives), Devlin and Emmerich went to the studio and pitched a new trilogy.
“The Stargate universe is one that we missed terribly, and we cannot wait to get going on imagining new adventures and situations for the trilogy,” Emmerich and Devlin said. “This story is very close to our hearts, and getting the chance to revisit this world is in many ways like a long lost child that has found its way back home.”
MGM head Gary Barber called Emmerich and Devlin “world-class creators of the original Stargate,” and said they will “bring their reinvigorated vision of this wildly popular property to audiences of multiple generations.”
Devlin and Emmerich originally intended Stargate — which starred Kurt Russell and James Spader — to be a trilogy, but gave up the rights when they signed up with MGM to distribute the film in the U.S.
It’s not the only hit from the past that the duo are going back to. After years of speculation FOX announced last year that a sequel to 1996’s Independence Day is also in production. That will be released on July 1, 2016 — meaning the first new Stargate movie is likely to come after.
Stargate has been called MGM’s most important property after James Bond, with Stargate SG-1 helping to launch its television division and earning billions of dollars in worldwide broadcasting.
Watch this space for more as it develops!
(Via Deadline. Thanks to Steve, Tom, Adam, and Michael for the head’s up!)