Dean Devlin, who wrote and produced the original 1994 Stargate film, has closed the door on a potential return to the franchise. In a recent appearance on the The Matthew Aaron Show show, Devlin stated he will not be involved in any future Stargate projects, Independence Day sequels, or studio films in general.
“After Geostorm, I really came to the realization that I’m not the kind of guy who should ever work at studios,” Devlin said. “I excused myself from both Stargate and from Independence Day, so they may be going forward, but I don’t know. I’m not involved anymore.”
After years of talk about wanting to finish their version of Stargate, Devlin and director Roland Emmerich had planned to reboot the property with a trilogy of films with studio MGM. Devlin announced in the fall of 2016 that the project would not be going forward after all.
Devlin’s apparent retirement from franchise filmmaking — though certainly a shock to many — could stem from recent struggles at the box office.
In 2016 the highly-anticipated Independence Day sequel Independence Day: Resurgence (which Devlin co-wrote & produced) debuted to negative reviews and a lower-than-expected box office tally. The third film in the planned Independence Day trilogy is currently in a holding pattern, and Devlin recently stated that he has no “personal plans” to produce the film.
Meanwhile Devlin’s 2017 directorial debut, the high-budget disaster flick Geostorm, underwent extensive reshoots with a different director. The film received a meager 14% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and bombed at the global box office.
On the television front, Devlin’s action-adventure series The Librarians was cancelled this spring by TNT, and efforts to find the show a new home for its fifth season (spearheaded by Devlin himself) yielded nothing.
This isn’t even counting the Stargate reboot trilogy that was announced in 2014 with Emmerich, only to be declared dead two years later.
“This story is very close to our hearts,” Devlin said, at the time of the trilogy announcement. “Getting the chance to revisit this world is in many ways like a long lost child that has found its way back home.”
But contrary to Devlin’s statement, the reboot trilogy was not so much “revisiting” the story as it was “rewriting” the story. The proposed films would have overwritten both the 1994 film and the television shows, giving the duo a chance to fully realize their original Stargate plans.
“It’s not a story that can take place 20 years later. So the only way to really tell that trilogy is to go back from the beginning and start the story all over again,” Devlin told Variety at the time.
Despite these hiccups, Devlin still remains active in the film industry. He is producing the fantasy miniseries The Outpost with Stargate SG-1 co-creator Jonathan Glassner, and his indie horror thriller Bad Samaritan (which he directed) hit theaters earlier this year. That film was backed by fan-run Legion M, rather than a Hollywood studio. Starring David Tennant (Doctor Who), to date the movie has made an estimated $3.4 million domestic.
In the U.S. The Outpost will air on The CW this summer.