Now that 20th Century Fox is owned by Disney the studio is looking at taking a crack at a Flash Gordon reboot by going back to the drawing board as an animated film.
Fox studios, long before Disney took them over, had been attempting to bring an updated version of Flash Gordon to theaters for quiet sometime. Kingsman‘s director Matthew Vaughn was signed on in 2015, but later walked away and most recently Fox hired the director of Overlord, Julius Avery in October of 2018.
According to Deadline, Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi has been hired to take crack at a Flash Gordon animated movie. Deadline reports he will be writing and directing, but Waititi’s camp told the outlet it’s to early to know for sure what Waititi’s role will actually be.
Flash Gordon originally began as a comic strip created and drawn by Alex Raymond in January of 1934, Raymond’s Flash Gordon was inspired and created to compete with the already established comic strip of Buck Rogers. The success of the strip lead to three serial films starring Buster Crabbe as Flash Gordon. Flash Gordon (1936), Flash Gordon’s Trip to Mars (1938), and Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe (1940)
The 1980 film starring Sam Jones as Flash Gordon and Max Von Sydow as Ming the Merciless was not a critical or box office success when it was released to theaters, but has since gained a cult following. Even though the movie itself may not of been that great the soundtrack was provided by Freddie Mercury and Queen, so there was a partial win.
I’ve wanted to see a newer, updated version of Flash Gordon for some time. With today’s technology you could easily have a fun, action adventure filled trilogy. Of course I’ve wanted to see Flash Gordon as a live action movie.
I’m not sure how I feel about getting an animated Flash Gordon movie, but the fact that Disney-Fox has brought in Taika Waititi to see what could possibly be done seems like a good first step. Depending on the animation style and what kind of story they are willing to tell, whether it’s more of an adult animated story or aimed to be kid friendly will make all the difference.
I shouldn’t be surprised that Disney-Fox is looking at a property like Flash Gordon for an animated film after the success of Sony’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Flash Gordon is a property that hasn’t been in theaters in nearly forty years and could be less of a financial risk as an animated film over the possible failure of a $150 to $200 million live action film.