Matthew Vaughn is riding high. His current film, ‘Kingsman: The Golden Circle’ is #1 at the box office, but one of his upcoming projects has hit a wall. Or perhaps a huge sentient tree. Vaughn is attached to direct a reboot of ‘Flash Gordon’ for 20th Century Fox but the biggest obstacle is none other than Marvel’s ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ franchise.
When he was asked if ‘Flash Gordon’ was still happening, he replied:
“Yeah, we’ve been working on it. For me, the only problem with Flash Gordon is Guardians [of the Galaxy] kind of stole what I would have liked to have done with it. You’ve got Star Wars, you’ve got Guardians, so you’ve got to have your own space opera, but you have to find something that can survive among these two very, very great franchises.”
The 1980 film, directed by Mike Hodges, starring Max von Sydow and Sam J. Jones is a campy cult classic, featuring an amazing soundtrack by Queen. Interest in this sci-fi cheese-fest was renewed by the hit 2012 comedy ‘Ted’ in which built an entire subplot around the movie and even featured a dream sequence with Jones reprising his famous role as a football jock-turned galaxy savior.
Of course, the concept of ‘Flash Gordon’ originated way before the film. Alex Raymond created the comic strip which was first published in 1934 and it has been adapted several times into movie serials and TV shows. As recently as 2007, The Sci-Fi Channel (now known as Syfy) aired a modern live action series, but the 1980 film remains the best-known iteration for modern audiences. As such, a certain camp factor would most likely be expected by viewers. Vaughn’s challenge will be to deliver the laughs without encroaching too much on ‘Guardians” territory.
Mark Protosevich (‘Thor’, ‘Old Boy’) was tapped to pen the screenplay. It is unclear if he is still attached, as he is currently working on the script for ‘Freakshow’ a superhero movie about five mutant teenagers, which he is also slated to produce and direct.
At one point, Sam J. Jones hinted that Vaughn’s movie was to be a sequel to his film, with him possibly making a cameo. But it sounds like Vaughn is still figuring out an angle for his take, so anything is possible at this point.
At any rate, he seems quite excited at the opportunity, as he stated:
“The way I choose films is when I know I have to make it. Simple as that. There will be a moment where I can’t think of anything else other than getting behind a camera and shooting a movie. It’s a very hard switch to click; once it’s on, nothing stops me.”
It may still be a few years away, but Vaughn has now worked with Taron Egerton on three films, with plans for a third ‘Kingsman’ already announced. If he’s looking to cast a new Flash Gordon, he could be a great fit!
What would you like to see in a ‘Flash Gordon’ flick? A sequel to the 1980 movie or a fresh start? Comedic or serious?