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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

FLASH GORDON Approaching Return to the Big Screen


Gordon's alive!

Eighty years after his debut in a comic strip by Alex Raymond, science fiction adventure hero Flash Gordon may finally be making his return to the big screen.  According to Film Divider, Star Trek 3 screenwriters J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay are also writing a new Flash Gordon film with producer Jon Davis and are in the process of making a studio deal.

Their take on the character is more serious adventure, designed to "reclaim Flash Gordon from his current reputation in the way that Tim Burton redirected the public conception of Batman."  Although the classic character has appeared in various movie serials and TV shows, the 1980 film Flash Gordon starring Sam J. Jones, Melody Anderson, Topol and Max Von Sydow remains the most widely remembered adaptation.

This movie by Mike Hodges was recently featured in Seth MacFarlane‘s Ted, with an appearance from Jones, referencing the film's campy, cult charm along with rock band Queen’s unforgettable score

Initially conceived by Alex Raymond as competition for the popular Buck Rogers, Gordon was a polo-playing Yale graduate who, with companions Dale Arden and Dr. Hans Zarkov, journeyed into space to find the source of fiery meteors that were bombarding Earth.  Gordon soon found his arch-enemy in Ming the Merciless and the group's adventures on the planet Mongo included meeting Ming's daughter Princesss Aura, Prince Barin in the forest kingdom of Arboria, and Prince Vultan, leader of the flying city of the hawkmen.

Universal had director Breck Eisner linked to a new, big-screen Flash Gordon in the mid-2000s, which failed to happen.  The rights reverted to Hearst Entertainment, who then optioned them out to Sony, where Eisner remained attached as director.  Together with Dracula: Year Zero‘s Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless, Eisner attempted to develop what would have been a lavish 3D feature film.

The character's last notable live-action adaptation was in the 2007-08 Sci Fi channel television series Flash Gordon, which starred Eric Johnson and Gina Holden and ran for just one season of 21 episodes.

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