Julius Avery, director of the upcoming horror-flick Overlord, has been hired by Fox to write and direct a Flash Gordon movie.
Avery is an Australian director who made his debut on the Alicia Vikander-Ewan McGregor-starrer Son Of A Gun, and he made Overlord for Paramount and J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot. The film premiered at Fantastic Fest, and has been scaring up good reviews with the horror cognoscenti so far, scoring a 93 on Rottentomatoes.com as it gears up for a November 9 release. Avery grew up in Australia loving the Flash Gordon comic. He pitched his take and the studio and studio sparked to it and set him.
Flash Gordon is an adaptation of the pulp comic-strip hero who originated in 1934, with Flash pitted on the planet Mongo fighting its tyrannical ruler, Ming the Merciless. It was most famously adapted for the screen through the Buster Crabbe serials, but Seth MacFarlane’s Ted gave some serious hero worship of the 1980 campy Flash Gordon movie that starred Sam Jones as the character.
The 1980 Flash Gordon film that starred Sam J. Jones and Max von Sydow used a camp style approach similar to the 1960’s TV series Batman in an attempt to appeal to fans of the original comics and serial films from 1936. Although it was considered a box office success in the United Kingdom, it performed very poorly in other markets. Probably the most notable aspect of the film was its soundtrack which was composed, performed and produced by the rock band Queen, with the orchestral sections by Howard Blake. That film has since gained a significant cult following in the 39 years since its release.
But are sci-fi fans clamoring for another update to Flash Gordon? Personally, I’d rather see someone produce Mark Millar’s Starlight with Sam Jones as Duke McQueen, but that’s unlikely. We’ll be keeping an eye on this film as it develops.