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SYFY WIRE Gary Whitta

The Last Starfighter writer says sequel with 'all the bells and whistles' still moving forward

By Vanessa Armstrong
The Last Starfighter 2

It's been a couple of years since we've heard anything, but it looks like the sequel to the 1980s cult sci-fi film The Last Starfighter is still moving forward.

In an interview with MovieholeJonathan R. Betuel, writer of the original film, shed some light on the sequel’s status, which he is co-writing with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story screenwriter, Gary Whitta.

“It looks like we’ll be making the deal to get it going,” Betuel said. “Gary’s a gifted collaborator, we’ll be writing the script together but it’s taken a long time. I had to go through a process that took years to recapture the rights, but that was recently completed and although nothing is ever clear sailing, it looks like we have a really good opportunity now. So I’m really looking forward to taking it up.”

The sequel has faced stormy weather in the past, with the co-writers working to place a new script for at least a couple of years now. And while there were rumors that the sequel would be on the small screen rather than a large one, Betuel put to rest speculation that the next installment in The Last Starfighter universe will be on TV.

“This is a movie with all the bells and whistles, and it won’t presuppose that you’ve seen the original film,” he said. “There’ll be references here and there, but it’ll carry the saga forward.”

The original film revolves around Lance Guest (Alex Rogan), a young man who destroys the high score on a video game, only to find out that it's actually being used to find recruits for an intergalactic war. While the film didn’t fare all that well commercially when it was first released in 1984, it has since cultivated a fervent fan base.

And while Betuel makes it clear that the sequel can be enjoyed as a standalone film, he did confirm that some of the characters from the original will carry over.

“The leads are now parents and time has passed,” Betuel explained. “It’s not a remake. It’s going to continue the story. What’s changed is time itself, certainly as the video world and the alien world have continued to tick away. It’s not a time capsule of the '80s by any means, we’re taking it to the next level. Passing the torch… or the joystick.”

The sequel is still in the very early stages, obviously, so there’s no confirmation on if or when the new film will be released. Fans of the first film, however, still have the original, which, cheesy special effects aside, remains quite a fun watch.

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