Flash! Matt! Ah-haaaaaa! He’s the saviour of the universe! Or at least just another Hollywood reboot. We heard last year that Twentieth Century Fox was busy developing a new feature films version of cult pulp comic strip Flash Gordon, and it’s now being reported by THR that fan-favourite director Matthew Vaughn is in talks to helm the flick.
I’m a gigantic fan of Vaughn’s work, having absolutely loved all five films that he’s helmed so far – Layer Cake, Stardust, Kick-Ass, X-Men: First Class and of course, my current favourite movie of the year, Kingsman: The Secret Service. The latter indie produced R-rated comic book spy romp has been a surprising success for Vaughn, pulling in not only rave reviews but also just shy of $400 million off a $81 million budget. This has made the English filmmaker an even hotter property than he already was.
And according to reports Twentieth Century Fox, are now in negotiations to secure his services on this new version that will be based on the original comic strip created by Alex Raymond in 1934. The genre defining strip told of the adventures of the titular hero, a handsome polo player (hey, it was the 1930’s!) who along with the lovely Dale Arden, travels to the alien planet Mongo on a spaceship created by kooky scientist Dr Hans Zarkov in an effort track down the source of a wave of asteroids bombarding Earth. Gordon and co get caught up in various plots on Mongo, allying with and fighting against many of its outlandish inhabitants while trying to defeat Mongo’s evil ruler, Ming the Merciless, who is actually using the meteors as a weapon in preparation for an invasion.
Over the decades, the comic strip has been adapted for virtually all forms of popular media with the most well-known adaptation clearly being the cheesetastically awesome 1980 movie starring Sam J. Jones as Gordon and Max Von Sydow as Ming, which also featured that incredibly iconic soundtrack from Queen.
Twentieth Century Fox picked up the rights for Flash Gordon from the Hearst Corporation a year ago, after spending another year in pursuing it. George Nolfi (The Bourne Ultimatum, The Adjustment Bureau) turned in a treatment, which was then handed over to J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay (Star Trek 3) to script. Just what tone and angle their version of this classic tale will take is unknown, but with a track record as solid as Vaughn’s when it comes to adapting geektastic properties with just the right balance of action and wit, I have plenty of faith. As long as they keep that theme song, of course.
Last Updated: April 17, 2015