Back in 2014, MGM and Warner Bros. announced that they were partnering with director Roland Emmerich and screenwriter Dean Devlin for a Stargate reboot. Variety reported that Emmerich is set to direct the project which will kick off a previously planned trilogy that reimagines their sci-fi blockbuster film.
“We couldn’t be more excited to once again partner with Roland and Dean, the world-class creators of the original ‘Stargate,’ to bring their reinvigorated vision of this wildly popular property to audiences of multiple generations,” MGM chairman-CEO Gary Barber said. “‘Stargate’ is one of the biggest titles in MGM’s vast library, and we look forward to adding this great franchise to our slate.”
— Variety (@Variety) June 17, 2016
The original film starred Kurt Russell and James Spader and grossed more than $200 million worldwide. American-born British model and retired gay actor Jaye Davidson tackled the role of the god-like Ra. He is best known for his performance as the transgender character Dil in the 1992 suspense-drama thriller The Crying Game, for which he received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. New York Magazine once noted The Crying Game star Stephen Rea’s comments about Davidson’s disappearing act from the movie business.
I don’t know what happened to Jaye. I think he made a couple of movies and found that it wasn’t for him. He was quite young, and he was really brilliant in the movie. Maybe Jaye had second thoughts — “Oh, why did I do that?” You know yourself that the film world can be tacky and repulsive in lots of ways. Maybe anything he was on after that just seemed stupid. I certainly thought he could’ve had liftoff in a very big way because he was an extraordinary figure, and the world had become ready for ambiguous sexuality or transgender experiences. But maybe he just didn’t want it.
— Screen Rant (@screenrant) June 17, 2016
The planned Stargate trilogy was squashed by MGM in favor of three TV companion series. Devlin, who will produce the trilogy, says now that he and Roland are actively working on the reboot, they have to start from scratch in order to fulfill the original trilogy vision.
“At the time that we made it, every single studio in Hollywood had told me that science-fiction was dead,” Devlin told Variety in a recent interview. “And Roland and I really love science-fiction, so I think that’s partly why it worked and resonated. It wasn’t a cynical attempt to try and make something that was crowd-pleasing.”
He also noted, “what happened with the rights and changes at the studio,” and remarked how “we never got to do parts two and three,” but that could change with the reboot. “It’s not a story that can take place 20 years later,” he explained. “So the only way to really tell that trilogy is to go back from the beginning and start the story all over again.”
The premise of Stargate centers on “an interstellar teleportation device, found in Egypt, leads to a planet with humans resembling ancient Egyptians who worship the god Ra,” per IMDB.com. In 1997, Brad Wright and Jonathan Glassner created a television series titled Stargate SG-1 as a sequel to the film. This show was joined by Stargate Atlantis in 2004, and a third spin-off series, Stargate Universe, in 2009, which ran until 2011. The franchise has been in limbo since.
“It was taken away from us, and it’s tough to have your children raised by other parents, even if they do a very good job. … For us, it’s not putting down what has been done. It’s to let us finish telling our story,” Devlin said.
The Stargate reboot is being penned by Independence Day: Resurgence writers James A. Woods and Nicolas Wright.
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