Patrick McKay

Sam Jones and Timothy Dalton in Flash Gordon

With Star Wars heading back to theaters, it’s only natural that Flash Gordon follow suit. Ironically, it was the 1930s Flash Gordon serial that was a big influence on George Lucas, whose Star Wars movies then seemed to have an influence on the release of the campy Flash Gordon feature in 1980. This time, though, another adaptation of Alex Raymond’s sci-fi comic strip will be more tied to the Star Trek franchise. According to The Hollywood Reporter, hot new screenwriters J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay, who worked on the next Trek installment, have been hired to script this other reboot. They’re working off a treatment by George Nolfi (The Adjustment Bureau), who’ll be producing with John Davis, of Predator, Waterworld and Norbit fame. That sounds like it’s in decent hands, though maybe hands that are too serious. And a Flash Gordon movie that’s taken seriously is going to be hard to accept unless it is outstanding in a totally new way. Many of us are just too fond of how the last version was done (with some of us also fans of the cheesy serials) to see the appeal in something that’s not at least a little tongue-in-cheek. Plus, Sam Jones’s recent cameo in Ted, with full-on Flash Gordon homage, was only another reminder of the property’s association with the most awesome kind of silliness. 

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