It’s been well over a year since it was first announced that Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin will reteam with MGM and Warner Bros. for a reimagining of the highly popular Stargate franchise, but the first film in the proposed trilogy finally has someone tapped for screenwriting duties. Two people actually, as James A. Woods and Nicholas Wright have been brought in to script the initial entry to this rebooted series.
Woods and Wright are somewhat surprising choices for this high-profile project, as they’re far more known for their acting credentials than their screenwriting ones. On the other hand, it makes almost perfect sense, as Emmerich and Devlin brought the duo in last year to do a rewrite on the long-gestating Independence Day 2. Emmerich first gained knowledge of the pair’s talents when his company, Centropolis Entertainment, acquired an untitled action thriller they wrote. Are these the guys that will usher in a blazing new era of 1990s science fiction?
Hard to tell, since audiences don’t know what to expect from them. For that matter, nobody really knows what to expect from this next Stargate movie, either. Past updates from Devlin and Emmerich stated they’re using this new trilogy to tell the story they attempted to get out with the original. But instead of just rehashing the same material, they’re starting from square one and building the story up to be bigger and better than ever. Hopefully.
The original film, which starred Kurt Russell and James Spader, hit theaters in 1994 and took in almost $200 million worldwide. But instead of getting a big screen sequel the next year, the storyline was turned into the TV sequel Stargate SG-1 a few years later, and then spun off into other TV shows, animated series, and direct-to-DVD movies.
A story about a wormhole that connects distant worlds is certainly one that hasn’t lost any of its intrigue over the years. Movie viewers always want to head to places they’ve never been, and Roland Emmerich knows how to create a theatrical experience like few others. I’m pretty sure this movie will turn a profit no matter who writes it, but it’s up to Woods and Wright to go above and beyond. (Incidentally, Space: Above and Beyond is ripe for some kind of a reboot.)
Woods, who also does some video game voice work, was seen recently in some Season 4 episodes of Being Human, and he’ll be seen later this year in Allan Ungar’s action romp Gridlocked. Wright, who acted with Woods in the Canadian comedy The Business, starred in the recently cancelled Manhattan Love Story and the Canadian series Sensitive Skin. The pair’s first script, Independence Day 2, was good enough to get the movie a green light from 20th Century Fox. Will their work on Stargate be as successful?