Twentieth Century Fox has obtained the rights to Flash Gordon, and is moving ahead with a reboot of the property, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The studio hired screenwriters J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay, the duo behind the upcoming Star Trek 3 script, and veteran producer John Davis is attached.
The character of Flash Gordon was first introduced in 1934 through a comic strip created by Alex Raymond. Gordon was depicted as an athletic and intelligent hero who becomes embroiled in a plot to destroy Earth by Ming the Merciless. Within two years of the character’s introduction, Flash Gordon serials began to appear on the big screen. In 1996 the Library of Congress selected the Flash Gordon series for preservation in the United States National Film Registry, noting that they are “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”
Since his introduction, Flash Gordon has appeared in a variety of mediums, from radio to TV to comics to film. The last major film release for the property was in 1980, when Universal released Flash Gordon starring Sam J. Jones in the lead role. The most recent live action appearance of the character was in the short-lived 2007 SyFy show Flash Gordon, which lasted just 21 episodes.
Several studios have shown interest in relaunching the character without success, including Universal, Mandalay, and Sony. Davis reportedly spent over a year working to secure the rights to the film. The producer is perhaps best known for his work on the Predator films, starting with the 1987 original and continuing through 2010’s Predators. His next film to hit theaters is the big-budget The Man from U.N.C.L.E., starring Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer, which is now in post-production.