A Beloved Kurt Russell Movie Is About To Be Removed From Netflix

By Doug Norrie | 2 months ago

kurt russell

There was a time when Kurt Russell was something of an action star, and there was even a time when he made a brief foray into the world of science fiction. Back in the 90s, the actor starred in a movie that did fine at the time but ended up kicking off a fairly large franchise around one of the cooler space-time-dimension concepts out there. Stargate got the ball rolling in 1994 with a movie about wormholes and alien civilizations that were just a hop, skip, and a jump away. The movie is currently on Netflix in the United States, but only until the end of the month so if there was a time to start diving into this world, this is it. Come April 1st, it will be off of Netflix for good. 

Stargate stars Kurt Russell as Air Force Colonel Jack O’Neill who’s been sent to Egypt to investigate some strange findings in an archeological expedition going on in a temple. Because this movie is about to go true sci-fi on you, what the team ends up finding is an ancient portal that can unlock a wormhole to another planet. And because Russell’s O’Neill is dealing with more than a few demons from his past, he has no problem walking right through that bad boy into the galactic unknown. The rest of the team follows and the Stargate is officially active. 

In this first movie, the Stargate, Kurt Russell-led crew finds themselves on Abydos, another planet that also contains versions of humans, though they are decidedly different in a number of ways. They are still following Ancient Egyptian tenets as well as ways of life with the God Ra at the top of the food chain. But this dude is more alien than diety and he’s also not someone to be messed with. What ensues is a battle for the planet but also a struggle to find a way back through the Stargate to Earth. Opening and closing the portal is as much a problem as anything else. 

Check out Kurt Russell and company in one of the first trailers for Stargate: 

In addition to Kurt Russell, Stargate includes a number of other notables in the cast. There is James Spader as Dr. Daniel Jackson a crackpot-ish archeologist who has some off-board ideas about the Egyptians and their ancient society, though he’s proven “right” over the course of the movie. And there’s also John Diehl as Charles Kawalsky, another member of the crew. Plus, French Stewart is along for the ride as well, bringing a bit of comedic undertone to the movie. They are up against Jaye Davidson’s Ra, an alien who masked himself as the Egyptian god. Plus, Djimon Hounsou makes one of his first-ever on-screen appearances in this film 

Stargate was directed and written by Roland Emmerich and was one of his first major, big-budget films. Sure, he had done Moon 44 and Universal Soldier a couple of years before, but this one more than doubled the budget of both at $55 million dollars. It ended up rocking close to $200 million at the box office in all and set the stage for him to come out with Independence Day a couple of years later. Stargate performed okay with critics, sitting at 53% on Rotten Tomatoes with most following the typical reaction to a Roland Emmerich movie. The stunts, set pieces, and special effects more than did the job, but the story was light and even a bit silly. 

But this Kurt Russell movie was able to ultimately start a much bigger franchise around the story and concept. Though the sequels to the movies never materialized, a few years later Stargate SG-1 came out as a series and ended up running for 10 seasons total. Plus there was Stargate Atlantis and Stargate Universe as well as some companion films that helped tied major storylines together.

And for those worrying about Stargate’s future, there might be some good news on that front. Though Kurt Russell might never return to the franchise, the whole story might be given new life soon. That’s because Amazon recently finalized the purchase of MGM and the latter’s entire catalog. Stargate is among those many titles and there is a belief that Amazon might work to revive the story under this new umbrella. It would be a welcome return to a rich universe of stories that have maintained ever since the original movie came out. In the meantime, make sure you check out Kurt Russell in Stargate which started it all.