While Breck Eisner has been out on the road promoting his horror remake The Crazies (see our review), the director (and son of Hollywood bigwig Michael Eisner) has been talking up his potential film version of Alex Raymond’s Flash Gordon.
Eisner spoke to Movieline about the forthcoming film and while he seems to think that it’ll be made, it does appear that the film is at least a few years away – that is, if Eisner stays at the helm.
When asked by the magazine about Flash Gordon Eisner said:
“Flash Gordon is a project I’ve been pursuing for years, it’s a real passion of mine. The writers have been breaking story the past couple of months, and we have a couple months to go until the draft goes into Sony. Assuming they achieve everything we talked about, I think it will be a really great script. It’s not a remake of any movie that’s been done before. Nothing to do with the camp of the ’80s, nothing to do with the serials of the ’50s. It’s definitely based on the Alex Raymond strips from the ’30s and ’40s, told from the point of view as if he was redoing the strips today. The audience that was reading the strips back then was a very different audience than today’s audience. It’s an action-adventure, very dynamic, aggressive, with a really strong central character.”
The director then went on to state that he believes that the film will have to be developed further before we see Gordon alive on the big screen:
“We’re a long way off. It’s a gigantic movie, so these things are tough to get made. I made Crazies took me years to get made — I can’t imagine a movie of this size. There’s a long way to go. Sony’s got to commit big money to it and love it, and there’s going to be years of prep. It’s a lot of work! But if we can pull it off, I think it would be quite fantastic.”
One of the reasons for this delay seems to be that Eisner is shy about starting another big budget feature without the proper planning after the failure of his last film, the Matthew McConaughey starrer Sahara:
“For me the biggest lesson in the perils of making any movie, whether it’s a franchise or costs a dollar or a $100 million — you got to have a solid script going into production. It’s crucial. That’s your blueprint. You can make a bad script an OK movie if you work really hard, but it’s really easy to make a great script an OK movie. Which is not the goal any of us want...you have to be sure you have a good script no matter what it is you’re making. That was the biggest lesson I learned from Sahara. And it’s a lesson they seem to forget over and over again in these big movies...
"Ah thought Sahara was pretty cool, man..."
Personally, I enjoyed Sahara, and (while it had its flaws) I felt that the film was a good starting point for a franchise that could have been a good amalgamation of James Bond and Indiana Jones. Sadly, the film lost about $150 million, so unless there’s the obligatory reboot, I doubt that we’ll see Dirk Pitt back on the silver screen anytime soon.
As a fan of Flash Gordon (both the 80’s film and the 30’s serials) I’d love to see a modern Flash Gordon film – if it was done well, unlike the recent Syfy effort. My only fear would be who Eisner gets to star as the titular hero. I’d like to see his Sahara star McConaughey battle Ming, but I'm sure that by the time Flash makes it into the cinema, Columbia Pictures will want a younger actor.
So, who would you guys like to portray Flash Gordon?