Overlord helmer Julius Avery is moving onto another pulpy genre project, this time in the form of a Flash Gordon reboot for Fox. A big screen revival of the property has been on-again and off-again for years, with Matthew Vaughn (of Kick-Ass, X-Men: First Class, and Kingsman fame) being the last director attached. He formally left the Flash Gordon film reboot last year, after it was placed on indefinite hold in the wake of Guardians of the Galaxy's success.
However, with the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise's future up in the air following writer/director James Gunn's firing on Guardians of the Galaxy 3, and Lucasfilm (possibly) planning to take a short break on Star Wars movies after Episode 9 hits theaters at the end of next year, that's helped to pave the way for the grandaddy of cosmic adventure franchises to make its grand return to theaters. Disney is now on course to finalize its acquisition of Fox by the start of 2019, but it seems the Mouse House isn't averse to the latter having a space-based IP of its own - one that, in an example of things coming full circle, was the basis for the (now Disney-owned) Star Wars movies in the first place.
Related: Read Overlord's Early Reviews
According to Deadline, Avery pitched his take for a Flash Gordon movie reboot to Fox and the studio liked it enough to hire him for the project. The current plan is for Avery to write and direct the film alone (though it's certainly possible another writer will be brought aboard later).
Flash Gordon was introduced in comic strip form back in 1934 and has since become a radio serial, multiple TV shows (both live-action and cartoon), and a famously campy 1980s movie, among other things. The pulpy property follows Flash - a talented while male college athlete - on a quest to save earth from the planet Mongo and its tyrannical leader, Ming the Merciless, and could very much use an update, especially when it comes to the franchise's racial overtones (see Ming, a villain who's clearly inspired by East Asian stereotypes) and white savior trappings.
Avery might just be the right man for that job, if the early critical response to his upcoming film Overlord is any indication. The WWII horror-thriller went over well during its premiere at Fantastic Fest last month, which suggests that Avery might have a talent for putting modern spins on pulpy concepts in general (something like Flash Gordon included). It's been reported that Avery and Overlord producer J.J. Abrams are going to reunite on an original superhero movie titled The Heavy in the near future, but it seems that Avery may've already found his next project after that (assuming he doesn't simply tackle Flash Gordon first).
We will bring you more details on Flash Gordon as they become available.