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SYFY WIRE Flash Gordon

That animated Flash Gordon film written by Taika Waititi is now live-action

By James Comtois

Producer John Davis is just a wellspring of information. Not only has he said that he’s developing a Waterworld streaming series, but he’s also revealed new information about that animated Flash Gordon feature that Taika Waititi is working on. 

Speaking with Collider, Davis said that Waititi's Flash Gordon script is now set to be a live-action adaptation of the comic-strip-turned-film-turned-short-lived-TV-series.

"Taika is writing it. It was a movie that was a huge influence on him growing up. It is one of his favorite movies,” Davis told the media outlet. “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.'"

Originally a comic strip drawn by Alex Raymond in the 1930s and later made into a movie directed by Mike Hodges in 1980, Flash Gordon centers on a handsome athlete and his companions as they travel to the planet Mongo to battle its ruler Ming the Merciless, an evil tyrant hellbent on destroying Earth. Sam J. Jones played the title character in the film, while Max von Sydow portrayed Ming. In 2007, SYFY (back when it was called the Sci-Fi Channel) adapted Flash Gordon into a TV series. Hollywood has wanted another taste of this nostalgia-fueled nectar in recent years, with folks like Matthew Vaughn and Overlord’s Julius Avery attempting to revitalize the IP (to no avail). 

Davis added that Waititi “has the most fantastically interesting vision for this movie,” which “harkens in a very interesting way to the original conception from the comics.” And although it’s not clear that Waititi is on board to direct yet, Davis said that the actor and filmmaker should be the one to helm it, and that's worth waiting for.

"Well, he's writing it. A lot of times, you go to a huge director with somebody else's script and he's got to ... make it their own. This is going to be Taika-ready," said Davis. "And only he's going to be able to direct this movie because only he should direct this movie." The producer added: "he's laid out in great detail the characters, the movie, the way in, what it's about, the tone, all of that stuff, right? And I can't wait. And we'll wait for him.”

While we wait, there’s more stuff from Waititi coming our way. Thor: Love and Thunder wrapped production in June and is scheduled for a theatrical release on May 6, 2022. In the meantime, Waititi can be seen in the upcoming film Free Guy, hitting theaters Aug. 12.