Flash Gordon Gets Moody With Star Trek 3 Writers

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flash gordonFlash! Ah ahhhh! He’ll save every one of us! It’s been a while since we’ve heard any updates about a big screen version of the classic spacefaring hero Flash Gordon, and we’ve been quite content with Hollywood failing to get this particular project into production. But that may change soon, now that Star Trek 3 screenwriters Patrick McKay and John D. Payne have reportedly worked up a pitch with producer Jon Davis, and they’re currently in the process of trying to make a studio deal. Can Flash Gordon save us from a terrible future version of himself? Let’s hope.

McKay and Payne haven’t yet produced any screenplays that have gone into production, but they’re definitely on the road towards success. Beyond the currently director-less Star Trek sequel for Paramount and Skydance, the duo have penned an adaptation of the graphic novel Boilerplate for Bad Robot, as well as a big budget version of the Biblical tale of Goliath. Is it possible Paramount or Bad Robot will want to get involved?

According to Film Divider, the goal is to completely ignore the films and serials of the past and use the Alex Raymond’s comic series as the core inspiration, but with a more serious tone. Obviously there’s nothing funny about trying to stop Ming the Merciless from coveting the beautiful Dale, along with his other less sexually villainous plots.

We shouldn’t expect anything as dark in tone as Christopher Nolan or Tim Burton’s takes on the Batman franchise, but Flash Gordon is in the same boat as the Dark Knight was before those directors took the reins. The most current cinematic iteration of Flash can be seen in Mike Hodges’ colorfully campy 1980 film, for which Queen produced a most magnificent soundtrack. It wasn’t “Joel Schumacher + Arnold Schwarzenegger campy,” but it was only a few degrees away. Here’s a pretty solid description:

This new incarnation would be full of adventure and razor’s edge escapades, balanced by plenty of character work but no real anguish, ponderous chin-stroking or middle-distance staring.

Okay so technically, the last time we saw Flash Gordon on the big screen was in Seth MacFarlane’s raunchy comedy Ted, in which actor Sam Jones played himself, but in full Flash regalia. Check him out below.

Should this endeavor pan out, this will be the first time actual traction was made on an adaption since 2010, when The Crazies director Breck Eisner was set to go from a screenplay written by Dracula Untold scribes Matt Sazama and Buck Sharpless. As well, comic mastermind Mark Millar was set to pay direct homage to Flash Gordon in his series Starlight, but apparently there were legal issues, making the influence much less specific.

All in all, I’d rather have the Star Trek 3 writers, whose work I’m not familiar with, than the Roberto Orci-Alex Kurtzman-Damon Lindelof combination responsible for Star Trek Into Darkness. If I had to make that choice. Enjoy the following full-length film, The Deadly Ray from Mars, and tell us what you think about a Flash Gordon update in the comments.


  1. cynic44 says:

    Would be a shame to not even give a nod to the Buster Crabbe days. Sam Jones incarnation came out opposite some major genre changing competition and nodded too hard, but it would be nice to see one sparkler powered ship…

  2. sounder says:

    The syfy version of Flash Gordon was awful. I remember they gave it the Xena Warrior Princess treatment.

  3. Jack says:

    At 1st glance I thought is was the writers from ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ which would really piss me off! It’s nice to know tee are different guys BUT, WTF already? These franchises are suppose to be unto themselves.
    This is total b.s. having abrams do both Star Trek & Star Wars, now they want to pollute Flash Gordon with the new Star Trek writers. All these stories are not suppose to be penned by the same minds, which will only make them all feel the same! Hollywood is the one in major need of the reboot!!
    The only reason we saw the same people create various legendary characters back in the day was due to who they were. The were exceptional talents with unprecedented vision & style! They also had the class to make sure none of them were the same film, or comic dressed in different clothes. Today these yahoos just want to cookie cutter everything with different colored frosting. It really sucks.
    This is basically one big orgy with no soul or intrinsic style. These generic writers & directors are just jumping from hand out to hand out, & we are force fed the contrived notion of an epic passionate love affair. This isn’t what breeds success.
    When they predictably fail it’s a sly, “let’s forget that feeble attempt, & reboot it in 5yrs” like they’re doing with Fantastic Four, Green Lantern,& Hulk. Otherwise they toss us the old, “there was no audience,” gag.
    Until fans refuse to buy tickets to any of this regurgitated trash,& demand top quality, it will never stop. The fact that rebooting is the ultimate trend reflects the lack of talent present. I’d love to see Flash done right, but I have no faith.

    • Jack says:

      GFR: How about you fix your page script so our typing doesn’t skip every few letters huh? 90% of my selling mistakes are due to your script not registering my key strokes! Literally every other word is missing a letter that I must go fix!!!! No other website or programs gives me this issue. It’s no on my end!

      • JT says:

        Not seeing that issues ourselves. The comments are from Disqus, a third party company which provides the comments on literally almost every website.

      • sounder says:

        You can type in word or notepad first then just do a copy/paste. 😉

        • cynic44 says:

          Awesome tip and something I tend to do myself. Not only do you avoid typos, but “read twice, send once” is a good practice that copying and pasting helps with.
          p.s. not seeing the missed character issue here either…

  4. styan says:

    And what about “Captain Proton” from Star Trek Voyager? Wouldn’t that qualify as an adaptation of sorts?

  5. Kris Webb says:

    Could be fun, if it remembers that its likely audience, young men, would only probably be familiar with the Queen soundtrack, if they’re familiar with Flash Gordon, at all.