Fox has tapped Overlord director Julius Avery to write and direct a remake of Flash Gordon for the big screen, according to Variety. No timetable for the film’s production and release has yet been set.
Fox had been involved in negotiations with Kingsman director Matthew Vaughn to direct the film off and on for the past three years, but Vaughn has elected to produce the film instead alongside John Davis and Hearst Entertainment & Syndication Group.
Flash Gordon is based on a 1930s comic strip of the same name. It was originally created by Alex Raymond to compete with the Buck Rogers strip during that period. Flash Gordon was an instant success after its first publication in 1934, and was first adapted to the silver screen by three serials starring Buster Crabbe from 1936-1940. A television series appeared in 1954, and was rebooted three times — in 1979, 1996, and 2007. The last time the story was adapted for the big screen was in 1980 following the technological innovations of Star Wars, and starred Sam Jones as the title character with villains played by Max Von Sydow and Timothy Dalton. Not to be forgotten in that entry was the iconic theme song by Queen.
The basic story follows Flash Gordon’s adventures in space alongside his love interest Dale Arden and scientist Hans Zarkov as they engage in a conflict with galactic emperor Ming the Merciless on the planet Mongo.
Vaughn said that the franchise had difficulty getting off the ground in light of heavy competition from space adventures such as the Star Wars and Guardians of the Galaxy franchises. “You’ve got Star Wars, you’ve got Guardians, so you’ve got to have your own space opera, but you have to have something that can survive among those two very, very great franchises,” Vaughn told the Hollywood Reporter.
Avery is an Australian director who appears to be an up-and-coming talent. He first gained popularity with his successful debut film, Son of a Gun, which led Paramount to tap him to helm Overlord. Overlord doesn’t open nationwide until November 9, but it premiered at Fantastic Fest and the early reviews are extremely positive, with the film garnering a 89 percent “Fresh” score on Rotten Tomatoes.
Overlord is the story of a pair of World War II paratroopers who are stranded behind enemy lines during Operation: Overlord. Their plane is downed during a mission to destroy a German radio tower, and during their escape they unwittingly stumble into a Nazi experimental laboratory where monstrous bioweapons are being developed.