Exclusive: Roland Emmerich Not Directing Stargate Revival Movie

Our sources tell us while he will be involved as a producer, Roland Emmerich will not direct the next Stargate movie.

By Michileen Martin | Published

roland emmerich stargate

Roland Emmerich co-wrote and directed 1994’s Stargate, but he won’t helm the upcoming revival film. Our trusted and proven sources tell us that while Emmerich will board the project as a producer, the now Amazon-owned MGM Studios is looking for a director with a different approach. They tell us the style of David Leitch — who helmed this year’s Brad Pitt-led Bullet Train — is what they’re looking for in the next Stargate movie.

It probably shouldn’t come as a shock that the studio is looking for someone with a more contemporary eye to helm the reboot, particularly with the poor performance of this year’s Moonfall. Roland Emmerich’s return to the disaster genre flopped spectacularly, which likely makes Amazon nervous about putting the return of Stargate in his hands.

In contrast, let’s look at David Leitch’s last three films. Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw and Deadpool 2 both turned a hefty profit, while Bullet Train‘s profitability — $239 million against a $90 million production budget according to Box Office Mojo — is a bit more of a question, but it performed well for a pandemic-era flick (and sold more than three times as many tickets as Moonfall).

Roland Emmerich’s own words on the subject of Stargate may not have given the studio much confidence in him either. Asked about the possibility, Emmerich not only seemed uninterested but a little confused about the state of today’s reboot/revival/legacy sequel-heavy industry. While promoting Moonfall, the director was asked about making another Stargate and he answered:

“That won’t happen because I thought that the people who watch the TV show are the main fans, and to make a movie after 25 years which has the same characters, it’s not possible. Right?”

-Roland Emmerich on making more Stargate

Of course, Roland Emmerich is right that it’s the television fans who have kept interest in Stargate alive since the last of the spinoff series, Stargate Universe, concluded in 2011. With other science-fiction franchises like Star Wars and Star Trek dialing up their output, talk of an (albeit, uncertain) Babylon 5 reboot, and even the Quantum Leap reboot miraculously securing a Season 2, Stargate has seemed like one of the only big sci-fi franchises left without a revival.

stargate movie amazon
Stargate (1994)

That is, until we exclusively reported last month that the next Stargate movie would premiere on Amazon Prime Video. We’ve also heard from our sources that the studio wanted to bring back the original cast of the Roland Emmerich-helmed Stargate film, including Kurt Russell and James Spader in spite of those being recast for the television spinoffs; with Richard Dean Anderson taking over Russell’s role of Colonel Jack O’Neill and Michael Shanks replacing Spader as Dr. Daniel Jackson. We don’t know if that’s still the plan, but if so we’re sure fans of the TV series will have more than a few things to say about it.