Disney tapped Taika Waititi with developing an animated FLASH GORDON movie two years ago, but it would seem the project has undergone something of a metamorphosis. While speaking with Collider, producer John Davis said that the Flash Gordon film is now being developed as a live-action project. “Taika is writing it,” Davis said. “It was a movie that was a huge influence on him growing up. It is one of his favorite movies. He initially said to me, ‘Let’s do it animated.’ I said, ‘Okay.’ Then we got into it and started developing it and he said, ‘No, let’s do it live-action.’ I said, ‘Even better.’“
Based upon the classic comic strip by Alex Raymond, the 1980 film follows Dr. Hans Zarkov (Topol) as he takes football star Flash Gordon (Sam Jones) and travel agent Dale Arden (Melody Anderson) into space to get to the bottom of a series of strange natural disasters which have been plaguing the Earth. Upon their arrival on the planet Mongo, they find that Ming the Merciless (Max von Sydow) has been attacking Earth out of pure boredom, and it’s up to Flash Gordon to save the day. I’d never seen Flash Gordon, but I grabbed Arrow Video’s 4K release on a whim earlier this year and absolutely loved it; Colourful and absolutely ridiculous, right up Taika Waititi’s alley. Although it was initially reported that Waititi would write and direct the Flash Gordon reboot, it seems that he’s only writing the script at the moment, but John Davis is hopeful that he’ll helm the film as well.
Well, he’s writing it. So when somebody writes a script that they’re going to direct, they’re obviously going to really like the script, right? So you get a big leg up, right? A lot of times, you go to a huge director with somebody else’s script and he’s got to reinvent it. They’ve got to make it their own. They’ve got to… whatever. This is going to be Taika-ready.
John Davis added that Taika Waititi has “the most fantastically interesting vision for this movie… It harkens in a very interesting way to the original conception from the comics.” It may be some time before Waititi is able to turn his full attention to Flash Gordon as he’s got quite a few projects in the works. He recently wrapped production on Thor: Love and Thunder, which is set to hit theaters on May 6, 2022, and also has the sports comedy Next Goal Wins awaiting release as well.