The classic comic strip turned cheesetastic 1980 feature film, Flash Gordon, is headed back to the big screen. According to a report from THR, Twentieth Century Fox has acquired the movie rights to the classic franchise and has immediately kicked off plans to get a new feature film reboot under way.
Hot new screenwriting duo, J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay, who will soon be penning Star Trek 3 with Roberto Orci and have already written a Micronauts script for director JJ Abrams, have been brought on board to produce a screenplay. They will be working off an existing earlier treatment done by George Nolfi (The Adjustment Bureau, The Bourne Ultimatum), who will also be producing alongside John Davis (Predators, Waterworld), the latter of which has been toiling for years to get this reboot off the ground.
Flash Gordon began life as a weekly comic strip by artist Alex Raymond in 1934, featuring the titular hero as a professional polo player turned intergalactic swashbuckling adventurer after he and his companions, the beautiful Dale Arden and the bonkers scientist Hans Zarkov, end up stranded on an alien planet, Mongo, after Zarkov drags them off against their will in search of the origins of a series of meteorites that are bombarding Earth. Flash would band together the alien planet’s disparate species to try and overthrow it’s tyrannical leader, Ming the Merciless.
The comic strip spawned a 13-part film serial starring Buster Crabbe in 1936, but it’s Mike Hodges’ 1980 adaptation that is probably the most famous. Starring a young Sam Jones (whose Flash Gordon was now an American Football player), Max Von Sydow, Brian Blessed and Timothy Dalton, among others, Flash Gordon became a cult classic thanks to its colourful characters, eye catching visuals, cheesy good nature and a bombastic soundtrack provided by none other than rock legends Queen.
It’s said that this new reboot won’t be taking its cues from that film though, but rather going back to Raymond’s original comic strip for inspiration. That strip saw Flash and friends visit far more of the planet Mongo, including its more outlandish inhabitants, as well as several other nearby planets, which gives ample story material for Payne and McKay to work with.
Whatever direction they take the script in, I only ask for two things: That they manage to maintain the material’s pulpy, feel good vibe (anybody know if director Joe Johnston is busy with anything?), and that they keep that amazing theme song. A whole new generation of filmgoers needs to be earwormed (but in good way) for the rest of their lives like we were.
Last Updated: April 24, 2014