Producer/Director Dean Devlin Talks about Leverage and the Future of the Stargate and Independance Day Franchises

While doing publicity for his new series Leverage Producer/Director Dean Devlin took the time to answer our questions about the series as well as the future of “Stargate” and” Independence Day”
GVK: What attracted you to the series?

DD: I found television today to have become darker, dryer, and more procedural than what I had grown up with. This is not to say it is a bad thing as there are plenty of brilliant shows on now but nothing like Mission Impossible and The Rockford Files.

I had a meeting with TNT as they asked what sort of television series I had envisioned. I mentioned high tech thieves in a modern Robin Hood setting and they said “Sold”.

GVK: What are the differences between producing television and movies?

DD: Television is like speed chess as you have no time and no money. It is like trying to play Grandmaster chess with a 20 minute timer. The rewards are great though as it moves faster and you get to see the finished results much quicker.

GVK: How involved were you with casting?

DD: (Laughs) very as I got to direct the pilot as well. We were very fortunate as we were able to get everyone we wanted.

GVK: What are the biggest challenges with keeping a series like this fresh as time goes on?

DD: Plots are practically falling out of the sky. While talking with the creative team someone would mention that they hate a guy so he becomes a villain. Much of the experience grew from issues such as Enron and really wanting to punch those responsible in the neck.

I also liked how the cast bonded on and off camera. We will have new characters as the show goes on and will be able to expand upon the mythology of the characters.

GVK: What are some of the great moments from filming and what do you hope viewers get from the show?

DD: I love that it is a dysfunctional group of loners are better than a whole than as individuals but in a gestalt moment they only believe they can rely on themselves.

There are so many great moments in the show. When shooting the pilot, we shot on a rooftop in Chicago and as you know, there is never any wind in Chicago (Laughs). The crew expected me to use a Green Screen for the shot but I had a side built to take advantage of the skyline. We had a person hanging and it was like a white knuckle ride at Six Flags.

GVK: Any chance we will see that on DVD?

DD: We have a lot of special content on I-Tunes as well as planned for the DVDs. Also, on we have a great segment with Apollo who was a professional pick pocket who advises the cast and instructed them on how to pick pockets, watches, and everything about being a grafter.

GVK: I know you get asked them a lot, but I would love to know what the future of more “Stargate” or “Independence Day” movies are.

DD: Roland (Emmerich) and I had always planned to do three films and want to do more. MGM has said they want to play out the television series first so we are on the back burner.

As for “Independence Day” we never intended to do any films in that series beyond the first one. I think something may happen though as it seems a better idea now the further we get from 911. The visuals of the film would not be much fun in the wake of such a devastating tragedy but since time has passed and the bad guys are aliens and not terrorists perhaps it might be time to revisit it.

GVK: Thank you


  1. MsStargate said:

    Dean Devlin needs to realize that Stargate moved past his sequels years ago. The same people that would have been interested in his vision in 1995 are now fans of the TV show and for the most part (except for those last 2 years of SG-1) like the direction that Brad Wright, Richard Dean Anderson and company took the franchise. If there is a big screen version to be made, I want it to star Richard Dean Anderson, Amanda Tapping, Chris Judge & Michael Shanks not Kurt Russell and James Spader.

    December 5, 2008
  2. Dying Reptoid said:

    MsStargate, I think that you have misinterpreted the intent in Devlin’s words. He is speaking of his ‘sequels’ in the past tense, not in the present or future one. Don’t forget that he himself has said that MGM wants to continue with the TV shows anyway, and he has been denied.

    While it is true in the interview that he would like to do sequels, it also sounds like he does not expect to be able do them. Him saying that he and Emmerich had always planned Stargate as a trilogy and wanting to do them is one thing, but actually stating that they are is another.

    Nowhere in this interview does he say that he is doing these movies, for he is only giving general answers in an interview to something he knows that he cannot do, and is reminiscing about it.

    As for your opinion, you are largely correct, and Devlin has failed so there is no need to worry about him desecrating the franchise. As for a big screen Stargate movie, that will likely never happen because MGM prefers the TV, DVD, and online format, for it brings in large returns relative to modest losses.

    A big screen Stargate would probably lebotomize the franchise of money. They want to keep it as cheap as they can.

    For big screen stuff, they have James Bond and other movies for that.

    December 15, 2008

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