‘Stargate’ at 25: How Roland Emmerich’s Sci-Fi Classic Overcame a Chaotic Birth

  • Variety
‘Stargate’ at 25: How Roland Emmerich’s Sci-Fi Classic Overcame a Chaotic Birth
Roland Emmerich’s 1994 sci-fi adventure “Stargate” ended up grossing over $196 million worldwide, but the path to becoming a hit wasn’t easy. The independently-made film that opened 25 years ago this week spawned TV series including the 1997-2007 “Stargate Sg-1,” direct to video movies, video games and comic books, but it was not well-received with audiences in early test screenings.

The problem was with Jaye Davidson’s character, Ra, a powerful and ruthless alien in human form who had enslaved people from Earth and taken them to another planet via the Stargate, an ancient, ring-shaped device that creates a wormhole.

“He wasn’t originally an alien in the movie,” says producer and co-writer Dean Devlin. “He was originally an Egyptian who worked for the aliens. He was the boss of the humans, but he was still slave to the aliens. One day I’ll never forget, Roland and I were in
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