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From what I can see in the IMDB page of the movie, the writing credits are given to Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich. Was it based (even loosely) on an existing book or is this an original script which gave birth to a book afterwards? In the latter case, is the book just a transcript of the scenario or is it worth reading even if you saw the movie?

7 Answers 7

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The book was a novelization of the movie.

Also, there were several "sequel" books (NOT SG-1 related) - see linked Wiki article.

As far as "Worth reading", it's kind of a subjective thing. If you want my personal opinion - like any novelization, it's most likely far from a masterpiece of Sci-Fi and unlikely to contain anything major that would add to the movie.

However, having said that as a warning, I actually own Devlin and Emmerich's novelization of their "Independence Day" movie, and it was not terribly bad and did contain minor interesting tidbits of backstory - not the kind of book I would ever bother re-reading (this comes from someone who saw ID4 at least 10 times) but not a book I regret buying and spending couple of hours reading.

If it's a choice between reading the novelization of StarGate and reading another good Sci Fi book, I'd say go for the latter.

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  • What is "ID4" ? Commented Sep 11, 2020 at 10:50
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    It was a working title for Independence Day, now just an abbreviation it. I can't vouch for correctness, but according to IMDB trivia section, it was used for legal reasons due to Warner Bros owning the title "Independence Day". Eventually they got the rights to the title. m.imdb.com/title/tt0116629/trivia
    – Tronman
    Commented Sep 11, 2020 at 21:47
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High school teacher Omar Zuhdi claimed in a 1995 copyright infringement lawsuit that virtually the entire film was stolen from a manuscript he began writing as a college student. Zuhdi even had his former Egyptology professor from Johns Hopkins University vouch for him. Contrary to popular belief, Zuhdi never personally submitted his manuscript directly to Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin; he claims he submitted it only once to 20th Century Fox, who rejected it in 1984, five years before Emmerich and Devlin even met. However, the suit alleges that StudioCanal eventually acquired a copy of the manuscript, and some years later hired Emmerich and Devlin to make Stargate using Zuhdi's ideas. Zuhdi sued Emmerich, Devlin, all of the film's other producers, StudioCanal, and MGM for $140 million. In 1997, the case was settled out of court for $50,000. In 2013, Zuhdi published a novel called "Egyptscape", based on the manuscript he says he submitted to Fox.

https://www.thelivingmoon.com/42stargate/03files/Coincidence01.html

He later went on to release Egyptscape, a book based on the script he submitted to Fox. So if they really did steal his script, then this would be the book the movie and show are based on.

Egyptscape is a free-wheeling adventure story involving time travel, an out-of-work Egyptologist, and a government-sponsored experiment that opened the door to a long-dead ancient civilization, and the inevitable contamination due to the crossing of time.

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The books were based on the movie but there were additional books that extended the story which were supposed to be used by the creators for two additional movies. The books are written by Bill McCay and are called Stargate: Rebellion, Stargate: Retaliation, and Stargate: Retribution. There are two additional books that he wrote, but they were not considered for the movies by the original creators, Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin.

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Stargate the movie is very, very loosely based on the book Stargate by Pauline Gedge. The book was originally published in 1982 I believe and I was just searching for it when I came across this question.

The most recent version of the book was published in 1997 by Penguin Canada, but because of the success of the Stargate TV series, and subsequent supplemental materials, the book can be monstrously hard to find if you don't know exactly what to look for.

I haven't read it since 1990, but I remember having a hard time getting into it. the ISBN is 9780140268423 if you're interested in tracking down a copy and giving it a go. It's highly philosophical and deals mostly with the immortal "star folk" rather than humans.

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    The reviews on the Amazon page pretty universally indicate it's not related, so "very, very loosely" might not be quite loose enough. :) Commented Dec 29, 2012 at 18:08
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    Can you provide any evidence to back up this bold statement?
    – Valorum
    Commented Jan 24, 2019 at 10:31
  • if they had based a major movie on the book, with the same title, no less, they would have either would have credited her or Gedge would have sued them.
    – Ria Byss
    Commented Sep 10, 2020 at 17:22
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The concept was based on the works of Eric Von Daniken who (among others) espoused the "Ancient Astronaut" theory: aliens influenced the development of human civilization.

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    Can you provide any evidence to back up this bold statement?
    – Valorum
    Commented Jan 24, 2019 at 10:31
  • While it is true that the "ancient astronaut" and "aliens built the pyramids" nonsense has been around longer than the Stargate movie, I wouldn't call it "based" on them. They share some ideas, sure, but if this was inspiration by the conspiracy theories or just a coincidence... Who knows. Without further evidence, I would also call it a stretch to say "based on". Commented Jul 17, 2022 at 18:28
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Star Gate, by Andre (Alice) Norton was published in 1958 and may have inspired some of the concepts embraced in the later films/series. http://www.amazon.com/Star-Gate-Andre-Norton/dp/0152787100

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    Other than the fact that both have a general idea of "Gods from the stars" - Norton's having nothing to do with Earth gods, as Terrans are the "gods" - what other concepts beside the name? Commented Dec 29, 2012 at 11:44
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I Think you are talking about Gateway by Frederk pohl: Gateway (Novel)

I remember that when I read it, the back cover said that it was the inspiration for a 'highly successful movie and tv series'.

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    Gateway with the HeeChee from Fredrick Pohl is almost nothing like Stargate.
    – geoffc
    Commented May 5, 2011 at 15:57
  • I've read the synopsis on the page you provided but the only link I find is a gate to go somewhere else in space. I didn't find any site or article mentioning that this could be the first inspiration of the Stargate movie (which is perhaps the case). Seems an interesting novel anyway.
    – LudoMC
    Commented May 5, 2011 at 16:05
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    The HeeChee asteriod was found near the orbit of Venus, and it was full of 1, 2, 3, and 5 man ships, with a control dial that they did not understand and basically were guessing at codes. Which I guess is actually like the Stargate, and then the ships would leave, and travel to some where else, but in some kind of FTL over longish periods of time. So not a wormhole, but maybe a dialing device, and travel over large distances.
    – geoffc
    Commented May 10, 2011 at 21:19

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