Years before Batman, Superman and other Golden Age characters brought the superhero genre to life, Flash Gordon was fighting the forces of evil in the comic strip pages, and he finally starred in his own feature-length film in 1980. There have been numerous attempts to deliver another Flash Gordon movie for nearly a decade, and it looks like that will finally move forward with Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waitit involved, only instead of being live action, it’ll be animated.
While there’s word that Taika Waititi is attached to write and direct this animated Flash Gordon movie, Waititi’s camp indicated to Deadline that it’s “too early to gauge exactly” what the filmmaker’s exact role will be. Regardless, Disney/Fox is wanting Waititi to help “crack” a new Flash Gordon cinematic adventure, which is appropriate considering that Waititi drew inspiration from the original Flash Gordon movie for Thor: Ragnarok.
This move to Flash Gordon comes after Taika Waititi departed another animated film, Bubbles, a Netflix stop-motion project centered on Michael Jackson’s same-named chimp companion. There’s also the possibility could return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe by directing Thor 4, but there’s no official word yet on if that project will even be made.
Taika Waititi is currently in post-production on Jojo Rabbit, which is set during World War II and follows a young boy who has a Waititi-portrayed Adolph Hitler as his imaginary friend and discovers that his mother is hiding a Jewish girl from the Nazis. It hits theaters on October 18.
There’s been talk of making a new live action Flash Gordon movie since 2010, and the last big update came last October, when it was reported that Jules Avery had been hired to write and direct this reboot. Before that, Kingsman's Matthew Vaughn was in talks to sit in the director's chair.
Presumably if Disney/Fox is wanting to go down the animated route with Flash Gordon, that puts the kibosh on what Avery was working on and any other movement on a live action movie. However, until the studios officially announce that an animated Flash Gordon movie is on the way, none of this can be considered official.
While Flash Gordon may not be as popular as he was from the ‘30s-‘50s, the character does have a rich mythology that’s worth re-exploring on the big screen. For those unfamiliar with the character (who was created as a competitor for Buck Rogers), he is an athlete from Earth who has many adventures on the planet Mongo with Dr. Hans Zarkov and his girlfriend Dale Arden. Flash’s arch-nemesis is Ming the Merciless, the tyrannical ruler of Mongo.
The last major media depiction of Flash Gordon outside of comics was in a short-lived TV series that aired on the then-Sci-Fi channel, so it’s about time that the general public be reintroduced to him Considering how colorful and cosmically crazy the Flash Gordon mythos is, and that we’ve already been treated to one live action Flash Gordon movie, perhaps adapting the material for animation is a better way to put butts in seats.
Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more updates on how this animated Flash Gordon movie is coming along, but in the meantime, plan your trips to the movie theater this year by consulting our 2019 release schedule.