Since the cancellation of SGU, Stargate fans have found themselves in much the same position as Star Trek fans after the demise of Enterprise. For the first time in a long time, the Stargate franchise doesn’t have a show on the air, nor any signs of one on the horizon. Star Trek’s resurgence eventually came in the form of J.J. Abrams’ divisive film series. As for Stargate? Yup, it’s being rebooted on the big screen as well. Except it’s a reboot that’s also a, somehow, a sequel. What does that mean? Who freakin’ knows.
Stargate writer/director Roland Emmerich broke the news to Digital Spy, revealing how the new project came about. Emmerich says, “We went to MGM, who has the rights, and proposed to them to do a sequel, but as a reboot… and reboot it as a movie and then do three parts. Pretty soon we’ll have to look for a writer and start.”
And here’s where the confusion comes in. He describes the new Stargate project as a “sequel, but as a reboot.” Although Emmerich’s short quote doesn’t provide any further information, the clue to deciphering the seemingly contradictory concepts may come from Michael Bay’s Transformers franchise. T4 (just revealed as Transformers: Age of Extinction) has also been described as a sequel that is also a reboot. As near as anyone can tell, that means they aren’t ignoring the past movies, but they’re giving it a pseudo-reboot, introducing new characters and giving existing characters such as Optimus Prime a new look.
Based on what little Emmerich has said, it sounds like the new Stargate might follow that same model. The previous material will still be considered canon, but the new trilogy will mark a new jumping-off point where viewers won’t necessarily need to have seen the previous installments in order to follow and enjoy the new films. This sort of nebulous reboot/sequel thing has been popping up a lot lately, notably with regards to the next Terminator film.
Of course, all of this is just speculation with little actual confirmed information. There’s still a question of whether, if the new Stargate movies do acknowledge the earlier canon, will they acknowledge all of it? Will they build off the 1994 movie alone, or will they recognize all three of the Stargate TV series as valid as well? It’s a similar — but considerably less complicated — situation as Episode VII finds itself in when considering whether to honor the ridiculous amount of Expanded Universe content.
There is one other odd comment from Emmerich. When asked if the original Stargate’s stars Kurt Russell and James Spader might return for the new film, Emmerich says, “The actors look totally different… it would not work.” That’s a curious statement in the context of his previous one. If the new Stargate trilogy will be both a reboot and a sequel, that would presumably mean it will be set in modern day. If that’s the case, there’s no reason Russell and Spader’s characters couldn’t return in spite of having aged. And besides, if you have a chance to put Kurt Russell in your movie, you do it.