There's been rumblings of a reboot of nineties sci-fi icon-cum-television behemoth Stargate for quite a while now. For the longest time the franchise looked perfectly happy in television, with SG-1, Atlantis and Universe (the former of which proved so succesful it had its own direct-to-DVD movie spin-offs), but after the latter was cancelled rumblings of a change began. Then MGM announced in 2014 they were going to bypass the small screen and bring back original director Roland Emmerich to make a trilogy following on from his 1994 hit.
Since then, however, word's been very quiet on the development of the three-movie project. However, based on new comments from a key player, it's now looking like all the Stargate reboot talk may have been for naught.
Speaking to Empire while promoting the third season of The Librarians (which he executive produces), original Stargate writer and producer Dean Devlin revealed that while things were once looking up for the reboot of the franchise, the project has now hit a wall:
"It looked good for a couple of months, but now it’s not looking so good. There are just a lot of things that have to fire at the same time, and there was a moment where I thought it was all firing at the same time, and then it all kind of fell apart."
This doesn't per se mean that the project has been out-right cancelled, but does suggest that if things are ever going to come together it's not going to be for another good few years. There are a number of factors to consider with a project like this; writer, director and producer schedules all needing to match up before financial and story considerations can even be agreed on - not to mention, MGM's been co-producing all of its projects since filing for bankruptcy in 2010. In an era of legacy-quels, perhaps there was a desire to bring Kurt Russell and James Spader back too, adding yet another layer of contract wrangling.
It's also possible that the failure of another sequel to one of Roland Emmerich's 1990s hits may have factored into things crumbling. Independence Day: Resurgence made a very limp debut this summer and got a lot of criticism for its reliance on the previous movie's formula and needless open-ending; two things which you can imagine would have been part of a Stargate reboot. Could MGM and/or another interested party have gotten cold feet after Fox's alien-invasion spectacular stumbled?
In an era when seemingly every nostalgic property is getting reimagined in some form or other, it is strange that Stargate has proven to be such a non-starter. That being said, while Gaters may be a bit upset (although most probably would rather the property return to TV, not film), Stargate wasn't as big a draw as Independence Day - and if Emmerich couldn't recapture his success with the latter, he might've had as much trouble (if not more) reviving the former.
We'll bring you more information concerning the state of the Stargate franchise as it becomes available.