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The Star Online: Entertainment: Movies

'Gordon's alive!' Fox inks deal for 'Flash Gordon' remake

Posted: 25 Apr 2014 01:05 AM PDT

Twentieth Century Fox has signed a deal to resurrect forgotten American sci-fi hero Flash Gordon for a new remake that cult fans have been waiting for. 

In many ways an ancestor to the modern-day cast of Marvel and DC superheroes, Flash Gordon first appeared in a 1934 comic strip of the same name drawn by Alex Raymond.


Nice duds: The original Flash Gordon drawn by comics artist Alex Raymond.

Without any super powers, the hero – who was originally a polo player and Yale graduate – undertook a mission to save Earth from the invading armies of Ming the Merciless, a bloodthirsty tyrant from the alien planet of Mongo.

Installed as screenwriters for the remake are JD Payne and Patrick McKay, according to The Hollywood Reporter, with producer John Davis about to close the deal with Fox.

Though Payne and McKay may not be widely known, they are regarded as hot property in Hollywood, as the team behind the script for a proposed third film in the rebooted Star Trek series.

Although discussions of remaking Flash Gordon have been going around for the past few years, this is apparently the first one that's actually entered actual development. Whether or not it will actually become a reality is still anyone's guess. 

The hero has seen action many times on the small and big screens, beginning with a trilogy of 'film serials' made between 1936 and 1940 starring Buster Crabbe as the title character. There have also been a few animated versions and a 21-episode Syfy channel TV series that ran through 2007 and 2008.

Early incarnation: Buster Crabbe (left) was the original cinematic Flash Gordon.

But it was the 1980 cinematic version directed by Mike Hodges that captured the public's imagination – and subsequent derision – with its campy dialogue, outlandish costumes and phallic spaceships. It didn't help that the movie downgraded Flash to a football player played by Playgirl-centrefold model Sam J. Jones who was nominated for a Razzie Worst Actor award. 

Cult favourite: Poster for the 1980 film version of Flash Gordon, directed by Mike Hodges.

The 1980 flick was also memorable for Max von Sydow's over-the-top performance as Ming, Timothy Dalton during his pre-James Bond era, and Golden Globe double-winner Chaim Topol as Dr Hans Zarkov. But the star of the film would be the soundtrack composed by British rock band Queen, especially the theme song Flash.

Although it did moderately well during its time, the film found a bigger audience after the 1980s as a cult favourite. Self-professed fan Comedian Seth MacFarlane even featured Sam J. Jones in a cameo in his 2012 hit comedy Ted

The crucial question now is: Who should be the new Flash Gordon? – AFP/RelaxNews

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