Starting things off, director Lisa Downs was there for the Texas premiere of her documentary Life After Flash, which gave a behind-the-scenes retrospective on Dino De Laurentiis' 1980 big-screen adaptation of Alex Raymond's classic comic. Afterward, fans were treated to a 35mm screening of the space opera with Flash Gordon himself, star Sam J. Jones.
After the Flash Gordon screening, Jones explained that Fox Studios has been developing a sequel for the past four years. Jones himself had previously met with their VP of Production Matthew Riley, who said that Kingsman and Kick-Ass director Matthew Vaughn was attached to direct.
"My last phone call was 'Well, Sam, we're getting the green light, but we all went to see this movie called Guardians of the Galaxy, and that's exactly the way we wanted to do Flash Gordon II,'" Jones told the crowd, which included SYFY WIRE. "Now, we have a little pause button until we figure out what we're gonna do. That's where it is now. It's in development."
Vaughn himself had said this was more or less the case when he spoke to Collider last year. Still, despite the fact that labeling something as "in development" is enough to cast doubt on the film ever seeing the light of day (just ask Terry Gilliam), Jones was quick to reassure hopeful fans.
"Usually when you hear that phrase, especially independent [films], what that really means is 'We don't have the money yet.' But this is Fox Studios, man. The names are attached. I told them, 'Whatever you need me for, you want me to play Flash, the dad, whatever. I'm there for you.'"
Though the project hasn't gotten to the casting stage yet, Jones did have some ideas on who should play the role of Emporer Ming, last portrayed on screen by Max Von Sydow.
"Ming was a Chinese man, correct? So, let's get a Chinese actor to play Ming," said Jones, who said that he's become a fan of watching Chinese cinema on Netflix when not on the road for comic conventions. "The production values, oh my gosh. The production quality on some of these are great. So, if we're gonna do Flash Gordon again, let's get the biggest Chinese star to play Ming the Merciless."
Of course, even after almost 40 years since he portrayed the New York Jets quarterback who ends up becoming the savior of the universe, Jones reminded the crowd that he's ready to tackle the role again. "How do I see the next Flash Gordon? Brother, sister, I better be the lead, or one of the leads, all right?"
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