It should come as no surprise in this current age of tentpole filmmaking, where studios are hoarding every pre-existing property they can get their hands on, that we’d eventually get to a point past diminished returns, where it makes no sense to repackage a film/TV show/what have you for modern audiences since the property is so obscure or dated that most audiences won’t care or even fail to recognize it. Yet here we are, at a point were there are serious plans to bring back “Flash Gordon” to the big screen.
THR reports 20th Century Fox has nabbed the rights to the original Alex Raymond-created pulpy science-fiction comic-strip series with “Star Trek 3” co-writers J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay set to write the hero’s newest silver-screen adventure based off a treatment from “The Adjustment Bureau” filmmaker George Nolfi. If you’re familiar with the hero’s name, chances are you’re more familiar with the campy 1980 Dino De Laurentiis-produced and Queen-scored film that boasted a cast that included Timothy Dalton and Max von Sydow, than from ever actually reading a single frame of the strip.
Despite the references to the 1980 film in Seth MacFarlane’s “Ted,” most modern day audiences remain blissfully unaware of the cult favorite. Yet this new adaptation—no doubt meant to go back to the strip’s grounded roots—will still likely get a budget north of $100 million with another cheap bland lead with some veterans around him. If it succeeds, the studio has another franchise that’ll keep paying itself off for the next five years before the inevitable reboot or spin-off, and if it fails there’s always a gritty retelling of “The Shadow” or “The Phantom” waiting in the wings.