After years of underrated but popular SyFy TV shows and a cult fandom, Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich are returning to Stargate. And it’s exciting, but we’ve got both high hopes and severe reservations. For example…
It Could Be A Grander Story…
The first Stargate had a decent budget, but they had to watch said budget carefully in order to get the most out of it. If you pay attention and know how movies are shot, Devlin and Emmerich were rather clever with their cost management. Remaking it with a bigger budget will mean they can expand the scope of the story and have some fun with it.
…Or It Could Just Be The Same Movie With A New Cast.
It is somewhat concerning that Devlin and Emmerich are taking such a hands-on role, here. Come on, guys. You’ve made your Stargate movie. Let someone else play with your toys.
It Could Be A Gleefully Fun Movie…
Part of why Stargate is so fondly remembered is that at root, it’s a pulp action movie with a sense of fun and adventure. That hasn’t changed twenty years after the fact: It’s undeniably a silly movie, but it’s a silly movie in the service of having fun. That’s hard to knock.
…Or It Could Be A Gritty Reboot
We just hope they don’t roll with studio trends and make it all “gritty.” The microsecond the words “ancient Egyptian space portal” roll off your tongue, gritty is out the window, but that has never stopped studios before. Thankfully, Devlin has spent the intervening years working on the heist series Leverage, which is basically five seasons of light comedy interspersed with occasional hilarious violence.
It Could Be Cleverly Updated…
The original movie has aged in some… odd ways. For example, the Stargate rotates specifically because it looks like a rotary phone, making the metaphor easy for audiences in 1994 to understand. Now it looks weird and kinda goofy and theatrical; seeing how Emmerich and Devlin play with modern tropes could be a lot of fun.
…Or It Could Be A Self-Parody
The main problem with this movie will be going too goofy. This is Devlin and Emmerich we’re talking about here: They’re the same guys who made Roger Ebert mayor of New York in their worst film out of spite. They are exactly the kind of people who will put hieroglyphics on a key pad or give the Egyptians giant stone cell phones that look just like phones from the 1980s. It’s unlikely they’ll go full Flintstones on us, but the potential is sadly there.
It Could Lead To A Return Of The Emmerich And Devlin We Remember…
For a while there, Emmerich and Devlin were actually pretty good at remaking grandly entertaining ’50s cheese into grandly entertaining ’90s cheese. Independence Day is just Earth Vs. The Flying Saucers with the serial numbers filed off, but watching aliens blow up landmarks and jet fighters slam into alien dogfighters is always fun. The Patriot is basically every cheesy WWII movie lumped into the Revolutionary War. Even Godzilla, as utterly awful as it is in most respects, is a reasonable attempt to update The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms. If it gets these guys back where they belong, refining the cheese of the past, that’ll be good news.
…Or It Could Lead To The Wrong Kind Of Remakes.
That said, it’s a little worrying this team’s next project is a sequel to Independence Day. There’s a difference between updating the largely forgotten goofy movies of the past and recycling your past successes for a paycheck. We can’t blame them for taking the money… we just hope they use their newfound nostalgia power for positive ends.