When George Lucas first broached the subject of following up American Graffiti, he proposed a bigscreen version of Flash Gordon, which was owned by Universal at the time. Instead, he went on to make the first Star Wars film for 20th Century Fox. Of course, Fox no longer has anything to do with Star Wars, which was sold to Disney, and Fox could use a little space opera magic of their own right about now. And, in no small bit of circular irony, it appears that it is the very property that sent George Lucas running to Fox in the first place that they're turning to for relief.
On his Facebook page today, screenwriter Mark Protosevich announced that he's writing Flash Gordon for 20th Century Fox, with Matthew Vaughn attached to direct. That is just plain great news. Protosevich has been first guy in on any number of intriguing geek properties over the years, and he wrote a draft of John Carter Of Mars that was one of the best action/fantasy scripts I've ever read.
Vaughn and Protosevich have been in each other's orbit before this, but I'm not sure to what extent. Protosevich did a pretty great job with an early pass at Thor, and there was a point where Vaughn and his co-writer/creative partner Jane Goldman were almost on Thor, and I'm curious if it was the Protosevich that got them interested in the first place.
“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.”
That's what Protosevich had to say about it before going silent again, and I'm thrilled for him and for Vaughn. Vaughn came onboard last year, when the script was still credited to J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay. Now it appears they're bringing in a new writer and they're hopefully picking up steam. I'd really like to see this film, because it's up to Matthew to create a brand-new version of something that has been iconically defined several times.
Perhaps he'll save every one of us.