The legacy of Flash Gordon spans nearly seven decades. Originally inspired by his one time competitor, Buck Rogers, Flash started in comic strips but rapidly made the leap to film serials which would later inspire George Lucas’ Star Wars and many other science fiction epics. The iconic hero has had numerous adaptions in film, comics, and television – most recently a limited run series in 2007 for Syfy.
In 2014, 20th Century Fox announced they had acquired the rights to the space opera with writing duties falling to Star Trek 3 scribes J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay. Matthew Vaughn (Kingsman: The Secret Service) was recently brought in to helm the update, although at the cost of the earlier script. Now, things are finally falling into place for the updated Flash as Fox has hired Mark Protosevich to rewrite the script.
According to his Facebook page (via Hitfix), Protosevich (Thor) is the latest addition to the Flash Gordon reboot. Protosevich's first high-profile film was the Jennifer Lopez thriller The Cell in 2000. He also retooled the disaster flick Poseidon and scripted Will Smith’s I Am Legend update. Protosevich also let fans in on his motivations for the updated Flash, if not his ideas:
"I can't wait to get started and if you're curious about the take? I'm not saying a word. All I'll say is this - it will be nothing like any version of Flash Gordon you've seen."
The most well-known contemporary adaption is probably the 1980 film adaption directed by Mike Hodges and starring Sam J. Jones. This cartoonish adaption was the subject of Mark Wahlberg and Seth MacFarlane’s adulation in their mature toy story Ted. Their film even featured a rowdy cameo by Jones. However, in scripting the remake it’s possible Protosevich will look to the 2007 series, which starred Eric Johnson (Smallville) and Gina Holden (Fantastic Four), for inspiration.
In Syfy’s updated series, the titular hero lived at home with his mother, had a missing scientist father, and failed relationship with a reporter. It also completely altered Ming (John Ralston), who now ran his empire as a smartly dressed, self-aware dictator known as "Benevolent Father." Even though it only lasted one season, 2007’s Flash Gordon eschewed the hokey feel and ridiculous (or ridiculously awesome) set pieces of the 1980 Dino De Laurentis production. If Protosevich wants to take Flash Gordon outside the box, this obscure incarnation may give him a template to work from or avoid.
However, with the massive success of Marvel and DC’s comic book films in recent years, throwing in a little meta-camp would hardly prove detrimental to an updated Flash Gordon. Since both Protosevich and Vaughan have worked in the comic book world and aren’t adverse to a little tongue-in-cheek humor, their Flash Gordon may likely merge elements from the modern series and '80s film or choose to run in a completely new direction.
Screen Rant will bring you more information on the Flash Gordon reboot when we have it.
Source: Mark Protosevich (via Hitfix)