A new Flash Gordon movie has been in the works at 20th Century for ages with two different versions previously in development stages with directors Matthew Vaughn (Layer Cake, Stardust, X-Men: First Class) and Julius Avery (Overlord) assigned to the project at various points.
Flash Gordon is a pulp sci-fi hero that helped inspire George Lucas’ Star Wars franchise as Han Solo is directly connected to characters like Flash and Buck Rogers. A comic strip hero that debuted in 1937 with many live-action/animated incarnations with a string of serials and a campy film that released in 1980 that included music from Queen.
In the wake of 20th Century’s merger with Disney, Julius Avery’s incarnation was placed on ice and it was later announced that director Taika Waititi would be tackling an animated movie version of Flash Gordon by writing and directing it. However, producer John Davis has spoken to Collider revealing that Taika is currently writing it and has changed his mind wanting to do a live-action movie instead. He didn’t really give a timeline though or when they expect Waititi will be available to shoot it.
“Taika is writing it. It was a movie that was a huge influence on him growing up. It is one of his favorite movies. He initially said to me, ‘Let’s do it animated.’ I said, ‘Okay.’ Then we got into it and started developing it and he said, ‘No, let’s do it live-action.’ I said, ‘Even better,'” John Davis told Collider of Taika’s pivot to live-action with Flash Gordon.
Disney/20th Century certainly lucked-out nabbing the director as watching Thor: Ragnaok it’s hard not to notice that tone and visuals were most likely inspired by the 1980 movie.
Waititi only recently wrapped on Thor: Love & Thunder and is expected to direct a new Star Wars film for Lucasfilm in the near future alongside other films, but it’s possible that Flash Gordon could be the next big thing given how quickly he shoots these projects. He had once been attached to make a movie based on the manga Akira for Warner Bros., but he’s seemingly won’t be doing that.
I’ll continue to keep my fingers crossed that the studio and Taika will consider Black Panther franchise actor Winston Duke as the new Flash Gordon, given the actor’s stature fits the role perfectly and someone like Chris Hemsworth would be a little redundant since his Thor incarnation is essentially Flash now.
FLASH GORDON – Prepare to save the universe with the King of the Impossible! Alex Raymond’s famous comic strip blasts to life in the timeless sci-fi cult adventure Flash Gordon! When energy waves pull the moon out of orbit, New York Jets quarterback Flash Gordon unwittingly finds himself heading for the planet Mongo, where – with assistance from beautiful Dale Arden – he’ll take on Ming the Merciless and rescue humankind.