Filmmaker Dean Devlin is talking about finally crafting a sequel to his hit sci-fi film Stargate.
The original film, staring Kurt Russell and James Spader, was released in 1994, and was the genre movie that put Devlin on the road to some of his other now-classic sci-fi films like Independence Day in ‘96 and Godzilla in ’98. However, Devlin has done little genre filmmaking since the 90’s, and in a recent interview with THR, discusses his desire to return to genre films, starting with some sequels to his own films.
"We resisted doing [an Independence Day sequel] for years because we still wanted to honor the first one. The first one gave us all careers, and we really love that movie and loved the experience," Devlin explained. "We didn’t want to make a movie because it was financially a good idea, we only wanted to do it when we had an idea and a concept that creatively felt like it honored the first one - that it felt like an organic sequel as opposed to ‘let’s just go make some more money.”
A sequel to Independence Day sounds like a great idea, or, at the least, not a damaging proposal. Getting the cast back would be tough, but perhaps that’s not even necessary. Just tell a new story in the post-invasion world. However, Devlin goes on to say that he might want to also finally create a sequel to Stargate.
"Stargate has always had this empty hole," he said. "When we made the first one, we always intended on doing part two and three, and we were prevented for years. And our hope is that we can get another chance at Stargate and tell the entire story we wanted to tell."
What he doesn’t get into is the material spawned by that first film. Stargate may have been Devlin’s project, but after that two-hour film, there have been three serialized television shows which have further developed the universe of the film, adding up to nearly 300 hours of additional Stargate story. New teams have risen and fallen, grand epic tales of discovery and redemption have been followed. The great enemy of the story was defeated only to be replaced by a greater threat several times. There have even been additional feature length films - though not major theatrical releases - along the way to tell parts of the story too big for an episode.
And what part of this extended legacy was Devlin involved in? None. He wrote and produced that one film, which was incredible, but then hasn’t touched anything Stargate since.
So what would Devlin do with a sequel? Pick up the story where the original film left off, and ignore 14 years of great television shows? That won't work. The fans would not stand for it. We all already know what happens to those characters and even to their successors. The story of the Stargate program on Earth has been told in full, and needs no clarification or extension, that’s why the show moved out to the Pegasus Galaxy, then even further.
So what are Devlin's options? Pick up the story where Stargate Universe left off after its cancellation? I suppose some fans would be happy to see that story continued, but, frankly, it’s not Devlin’s story to tell anymore at that point. That story belongs to Brad Wright, Jonathan Glassner and the other producers, executive producers, and writers of the three television series.
What it boils down to for me, I suppose, is that Stargate simply doesn’t belong to Devlin anymore from a creative standpoint. He may still own the motion picture rights to the story, but that’s only legal ownership. Just ask George Lucas about doing things your fans don’t want you to do with your own IP. And he’s been handling the creative side of Star Wars at every step of the way. For Devlin to even say that Stargate has ‘an empty hole’ is a real insult to the shows and their fans, not to mention the showrunners themselves.
Of course, right now it’s just talk. Devlin may still rethink his plans entirely. Neither the Independence Day sequel nor the Stargate sequel have been official announced as being in development.