Roland Emmerich is having a bit of a nostalgia trip at the moment. Work on Independence Day 2 is well underway and now he has announced that he will be rebooting Stargate. The original 1994 film was envisaged by Emmerich and Dean Devlin as a trilogy. While the success of the film led to a number of very successful spin-off TV series, the next films never managed to get off the ground.
Luckily for us sci-fi fans though, science fiction is experiencing a resurgence at the box office. We are seeing more sci-fi blockbusters such as Gravity, Pacific Rim, Jupiter Ascending, Edge of Tomorrow, Avatar, Star Trek, Prometheus, Interstellar… reaching the silver screen. Not all of them are brilliant, but it’s great to see Hollywood embrace the genre.
What is interesting about this announcement is that it isn’t a sequel, but a reboot. Emmerich never got to tell the story he had originally wanted to and is now seeing this as his opportunity, getting the deal for all three films ahead of production of the first. Having a writer/director re-make his own film isn’t unheard of (An Affair to Remember was a remake of Love Affair, both by Leo McCarey, for instance), but it isn’t common.
The problem I see with this kind of reboot when the director is still trying to tell the same story he originally envisaged is that the first film in the new trilogy will likely be old-hat. It is a story we already know (and love). How can he bring something new (and worth redoing) if his ultimate vision is the same? I’ll be interested to see how he pulls it off (if he does). Science fiction films have changed a lot since the 90’s, when Emmerich was king. Will it have enough depth to grip a modern audience?
No dates are currently set for the new Stargate film, but we’ll be keeping an eye out for any details as and when they appear.