There are many mysteries in the world, but there are two that we find particularly vexing. One is how the endlessly entertaining and Mike Hodges directed Flash Gordon film never got a sequel in the ’80s. The other is how we have gone well over thirty years without a proper live-action Flash Gordon movie (the Syfy series from a few years ago doesn’t count).
But now Mark Protosevich (I Am Legend, as well as an early draft of Thor) has just come on board as writer. Protosevich comes on board after a draft by J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay. Things had been quiet on the Flash Gordon front since word came around last year that Matthew Vaughn was in talks to direct.
“I can’t wait to get started and if you’re curious about the take? I’m not saying a word,” Mr. Protosevich said on Facebook (via HitFix). “All I’ll say is this – it will be nothing like any version of Flash Gordon you’ve seen.”
It’s not like there has been any lack of trying to get Flash Gordon back to the big-screen in the last decade or two. Notably, Die Hard scribe Steven E. de Souza wrote a Flash Gordon draft back around 1997 while Breck Eisner (Sahara) was set to direct at one point. De Souza later joked in an interview with Den of Geek that the failure of John Carter killed Flash Gordon’s chances in Hollywood for “another 10 years.”
Alex Raymond’s Flash Gordon comic strip was the visual godfather of Superman and many other Golden Age superheroes. The three Flash Gordon movie serials are incredible influences on virtually every space opera of the next 50 years or more, most notably and importantly a little franchise known as Star Wars. The 1980 Mike Hodges film, while often dismissed as a piece of indulgent camp with a spectacular Queen soundtrack, was a nice counterpoint to the more lived-in (but still recognizably Raymond-esque) Star Wars. Just as surely as a character like Superman has been omnipresent in various media since his creation, so should a character like Flash Gordon flourish.