Flash Gordon: Taika Waititi's plans changed

Flash Gordon: Taika Waititi's plans changed

Flash Gordon

It was recently confirmed that Taika Waititi's Flash Gordon movie will be live-action. Created in 1934 by illustrator Alex Raymond and writer Don Moore, Flash Gordon was originally a comic intended to compete with another science fiction work, Buck Rogers. Flash Gordon followed the adventures of his eponymous main character, a Yale graduate and famous polo player, along with his two companions Dale Arden and Dr. Hans Zarkov, who travel to planet Mongo via a spaceship to face his villain. emperor known as Ming the ruthless.

Flash Gordon has been adapted in live-action version twice already. The first was a 1980 space opera with Sam J. Jones as the titular character and Max von Sydow as the main antagonist Ming (which you can find on Amazon in Blu-Ray version). The other was a less popular television series that aired in 2007. Flash Gordon saw a resurgence in popularity in 2012 after Seth MacFarlane's hit comedy Ted starring Mark Wahlberg. Since then, 20th Century Fox has been trying to get a reboot off the ground with little success, but once Disney secured the rights, Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi was hired to develop a Flash animated film. Gordon.

Flash Gordon: the words of producer John Davis

Now, according to a Collider exclusive, Waititi's film will instead be live-action. Producer John Davis broke the news during an interview for the recent big Disney Jungle Cruise release. Davis said Waititi is writing the film, but has not yet signed on to officially direct it. However, the producer is confident he can secure Waititi as a director as this is a project of great interest to him. Davis said:

“Taika is writing it. It was a film that had a huge influence on his growth. It's one of her favorite films. Initially she said to me: 'Let's make it animated.' I said: "Okay". Then we got serious about the project and started developing it and he said, “No, let's do it live-action”. I said, 'Even better.' "

Waititi has several projects planned that will keep him with Disney for quite some time yet. His football-focused film Next Goal Wins is finished and waiting to be released by Searchlight Pictures, one of the many detachments of Walt Disney Studios. His 2017 Ragnarok follow-up, Thor: Love and Thunder, ended production in May and is currently in post-production. That's not to mention the next Star Wars movie he will direct and co-write with Krysty Wilson-Cairns.

As for Flash Gordon, since he hasn't even started writing the movie yet, there's no such thing as a official timeline for when production will begin and even less than a release date. Since Waititi is currently in high demand as a director, it may take him some time before he can carve out some time for Flash Gordon.

Taika Waititi's Flash Gordon Movie Is Still Happening, But With One Big Change

Published: Jul. 30. 2021 6:50 PM

Taika Waititi has wanted to make a Flash Gordon movie for several years now. Pre COVID-19, the Thor: Love and Thunder director had envisioned bringing the space explorer to life via an animated film. Fast forward to 2021, however, and Waititi is dancing to a slightly different tune. Don’t worry, Flash fans: he still wants the movie to happen. It’s just going to look a little different from what you were expecting.

In an interview with Collider, Jungle Cruise producer John Davis, who's working on the Flash Gordon reboot, revealed that Taikia Waititi is still interested in directing the new film, with one major twist: the movie will now be live-action instead of animated as previously thought. As Davis put 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.'

While we love an animated moment, a live-action Flash Gordon movie is bound to be even more exciting. The original version of the hero was created by Alex Raymond for a 1934 comic strip. A bevy of serial films were released in the late 1930s, and a feature-length live action film directed by Mike Hodges premiered in 1980. The latter version is '80s camp perfection, with heroes and villains alike decked out in multicolored spandex. Anyone familiar with Taika Waititi’s absurd sense of humor will easily see why such a film might have inspired the New Zealand native. After all, he delivered Thor: Ragnarok, was comedic and packed with all sorts of colorful cosmic craziness, and Thor: Love and Thunder is going to be even wilder.

John Davis agrees. The producer specifically wants Taika Waititi to direct Flash Gordon for similar reasons. He believes that Waititi's sense of humor is just one of the director's many strengths, elaborating:

He has the most fantastically interesting vision for this movie. And you can only know it is Taika. It is what he does. It is the way he looks at the world. He is the greatest guy in the world. He is the funniest guy in the world. And he thinks on a different plane. And this movie embraces everything that's special about Taika, and his vision.

A different plane might be just the thing to set Flash Gordon apart. The 1980 movie was essentially a space opera, a genre that has been largely neglected by modern directors. Films like Jupiter Ascending and Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets have tried and failed to reinvent the space opera for a modern audience. A director like Taika Waititi might be just what Flash Gordon needs to break the curse. And it’s never been a better time for superheroes in film: just take a look at all of Marvel’s upcoming releases.

As soon as more details about the next Flash Gordon movie come in, we'll let you know. Taika Waititi fans can look forward to Thor: Love and Thunder being released on May 6, 2022.

  • Rachel Romean

    Rachel Romean

    Rachel Romean View Profile

    Actor, singer, and occasional dancer. Likes: fashion, books, old buildings. Dislikes: cilantro, the NJ Turnpike, sneaker wedges.