Two years back, Taika Waititi added yet another project to an already towering pile: He wanted to bring Flash Gordon back to the big screen. It’s been over 40 years since the interstellar hero, first seen in comics in the mid-’30s, has been turned into a movie (and almost 15 years since his last TV show). Initially the filmmaker had planned on an animated opus. But it appears he’s since changed his mind.
In a new interview with Collider, producer John Davis, late of Jungle Cruise, revealed that Waititi has decided to go for broke, which is to say do it with flesh and blood actors. “He initially said to me, ‘Let’s do it animated.’ I said, ‘Okay,’” Davis recalled. “Then we got into it and started developing it and he said, ‘No, let’s do it live-action.’ I said, ‘Even better.'” (Of course, that means it will likely be both more expensive and trickier to make.)
Davis says Waititi has long been in love with the 1980 movie version, which starred Sam J. Jones as the athlete earthling who’s whisked off to space, where he battles the evil Ming the Merciless, played by Max Von Sydow. While a hit in England and Italy, it underperformed in the U.S. It’s since become a cult movie, as was bound to happen to a loony space adventure featuring a winged Brian Blessed and songs by Queen.