After spending decades in the planning stages, a sequel to 1984’s cult sci-fi classic The Last Starfighter is finally throwing off the shackles imposed by endless rights issues and studio problems.
In a new interview with Moviehole, the film’s co-writer, Jonathan R. Betuel, has offered an update on the status of The Last Starfighter 2, which he has been plotting for quite a while with Rogue One and Star Wars Rebels scribe Gary Whitta.
Whitta has previously described the project as “a combination of reboot and sequel that we both think honors the legacy of the original film while passing the torch to a new generation” and plans are still very much in motion to see the movie come to fruition.
“It looks like we’ll be making the deal to get it going,” Betuel confirmed. “Gary’s a gifted collaborator, we’ll be writing the script together but it’s taken a long time. I had to go through a process that took years to recapture the rights, but that was recently completed and although nothing is ever clear sailing, it looks like we have a really good opportunity now. So I’m really looking forward to taking it up.”
The Last Starfighter follows the story of Alex Rogan (Lance Guest), a teen living in a trailer park who loses out on a scholarship and worries that he’ll end up going nowhere. However, after becoming a whizz at an arcade game called Starfighter, Alex is recruited by aliens to join an interstellar conflict. At one point, a Last Starfighter TV series was rumored to be in the works that would add to the mythology, which Betuel denies was ever a thing, and he wants to reassure fans that he and Whitta’s sequel will be a feature film.
“I didn’t generate that [report], that was a misfire from a wishful TV producer at the time,” he noted. “This is a movie with all the bells and whistles, and it won’t presuppose that you’ve seen the original film. There’ll be references here and there, but it’ll carry the saga forward.”
Betuel went on to talk about the plot of The Last Starfighter 2, which doesn’t seem to have changed in the last few years.
“The leads are now parents and time has passed. It’s not a remake, it’s going to continue the story. What’s changed is time itself, certainly as the video world and the alien world have continued to tick away. It’s not a time capsule of the 80s by any means, we’re taking it to the next level. Passing the torch… or the joystick.”
Betuel also touched on the themes of The Last Starfighter, which he says are still relevant 36 years on.
“People still dream,” he said. “People still long to be a hero in their own life and to those they love, whether their methodology is the same or different. The material everyone has in terms of wanting to do more in life and do more for others, I think is the story that fuels many movies. It has from the beginning.”
We’ll bring you more news on The Last Starfighter sequel as it happens.