Columbia Pictures Wants to Remake Flash Gordon
Apparently the failure of Sci Fi Channel’s recent television version of Flash Gordon hasn’t dulled Columbia Pictures’ enthusiasm for a big-screen movie version, because they’re currently in early negotiations to nab the character’s movie rights. If they do get their way — and really, why wouldn’t they? — Columbia plans on delivering the movie to Breck Eisner (“Sahara”) to direct, with Neal Moritz producing.
The Hollywood Reporter has more about the character:
“Flash” was originally a science fiction newspaper comic strip drawn by Alex Raymond in the 1930s and was created to compete with another sci-fi strip, “Buck Rogers.” The strip was first adapted to the screen via Buster Crabbe serials and made into a lavish 1980 film starring Sam Jones but remembered more for its Queen score. More recently, it was a Sci Fi Channel miniseries that was seen a critical and ratings failure.
Storywise, Flash was a sports player who travels to the planet Mongo with his lady love, Dale Arden, and the mad scientist Dr. Hans Zarkov. There, they discover a world ruled by Ming the Merciless and meet strange inhabitants such as the Hawkmen and the Sharkmen.
Obviously THR got the character’s recent TV incarnation wrong — it wasn’t a mini-series, it was an ongoing TV series that was eventually canceled.
In any case, if you’re a fan of the character, I wouldn’t get your hopes up about a big-screen movie being good. Producer Neal Moritz is currently bringing other TV characters to the big screen, including the Green Hornet and “21 Jump Street”, and both properties are being treated as camp. Then again, unless you think Flash Gordon would work better as a comedy, you’ll probably end up not liking the direction a “Flash Gordon” movie under Neal Moritz will be headed.