Today GateWorld is excited to unveil an extensive collection of the art of Stargate, the 1994 feature film that launched a science fiction franchise.
With more than 100 images from the film’s pre-production phase, the gallery provides a rare look at the making of the movie and the universe it created. Featured here are concept art and pre-visualization sketches by Stargate production designer Holger Gross and concept designer Oliver Scholl, as well as stunning pieces by French artist Patrick Tautopolos. Some sketches are dated to late 1992 amd early 1993, when the movie was in pre-production.
Tautopolos’s iconic drawings informed the model makers and visual effects artists in the creation of Stargate’s villains, from the alien “god” Ra (played by Jaye Davidson) to his henchmen Anubis and Horus (Carlos Lauchu and Djimon Hounsou, respectively).
Tautopolos was also the film’s creature effects supervisor and special creature effects creator, and is credited with creating the aliens’ iconic helmets — an inspired fusion of ancient Egyptian imagery and advanced technology. These images were also used for some of the movie’s licensed merchandise, from trading cards and posters to models and statues:
Tautopolos’s credits also include the likes of Pitch Black, Independence Day, Space: Above and Beyond, I Am Legend, and the Underworld franchise. He was also a judge on the first two seasons of Syfy Channel’s monster-maker competition series Face Off.
Production designer Holger Gross came to Stargate from Emmerich and Devlin’s pre-Stargate collaboration, the Jean-Claude Van Damme action sci-fi flick Universal Soldier. His credits also include John Woo’s Broken Arrow, the Nicholas Cage war film Windtalkers, and The Chronicles of Riddick.
Among the many sketches of Ra’s pyramid temple, the Abydonian Mastadge, and the film’s elaborate sets, some of the more interesting artifacts in the gallery are the original sketches for Ra, Stargate‘s primary antagonist. The character was originally conceived to be an older man, a human who ruled Abydos as an intermediary for his alien overlords.
Instead producers cast The Crying Game‘s breakout star Jaye Davidson against type, as a much younger man who used the aliens’ technology to maintain his youth. It was only after the film was shot that Devlin hit on the brilliant idea of making Ra himself the alien — altering Davidson’s voice and adding the glowing eyes effect in post production.
The sketches also show other potential enemy warriors with helmets designed after other animals including a ram, a goat, a hippo, and a hawk.
Gross’s original sketches were sold at auction in 2018.
Also new to the Stargate Gallery this week are a larger collection of photos from the Stargate movie, plus a brand new gallery of behind-the-scenes production photos featuring director Roland Emmerich, writer and producer Dean Devlin, actor Djimon Hounsou, and the crew. Here’s just a small sample:
Stargate celebrates its 30th anniversary next year.
To see more, lock your chevrons on StargateGallery.com!