Early 2019, 20th Century Fox hired Taika Waititi for writing and directing a Flash Gordon animated adaptation. However, very recently in an interview of Disney’s Jungle Cruise, producer John Davis claimed that the project is now being developed as a live-action film.
Speaking to Collider, Davis said, “Taika is writing it. It was a movie that was a huge influence on him growing up. It is one of his favorite movies. He initially said to me, ‘Let’s do it animated.’ I said, ‘Okay.’ Then we got into it and started developing it and he said, ‘No, let’s do it live-action.’ I said, ‘Even better.'”
For those unfamiliar, Flash Gordon was adapted into a film in 1980 from a comic strip originally drawn by Alex Raymond in 1930. He created the character to compete with the 25th-century spaceman Buck Rogers.
The adventures of Flash Gordon revolved around his companions Dale Arden and Dr. Hans Zarkov, who travel to the planet Mongo where they come in dispute with its evil ruler, Ming the Merciless.
In 2007, a Flash Gordon TV series aired which met with great criticism. However, ever since the character was referenced throughout Mark Wahlberg’s, hit 2012 comedy Ted, numerous attempts have been made to revive the Flash Gordon IP. Given Waititi’s record in direction and his creditable upcoming projects, the film holds potential to do wonders at the box office.
“He has the most fantastically interesting vision for this movie. And you can only know it is Taika. It is what he does. It is the way he looks at the world. He is the greatest guy in the world. He is the funniest guy in the world. And he thinks on a different plane. And this movie embraces everything that’s special about Taika, and his vision,” said Davis, who has full faith on Waititi’s take on the character. “It harkens in a very interesting way to the original conception from the comics,” he commented.
According to Davis, Taika Waititi has already written the script of the film and he believes no man can write it better than him. He added, “When somebody writes a script that they’re going to direct, they’re obviously going to really like the script, right? So you get a big leg up, right? A lot of times, you go to a huge director with somebody else’s script and he’s got to reinvent it. They’ve got to make it their own. They’ve got to… whatever. This is going to be Taika-ready,”.
“I’ve been talking to Taika about this movie since I first saw his Thor,” said Davis, who has been a fan of Waititi’s work since he delivered 2016’s charming adventure comedy Hunt for the Wilderpeople
“He did this little movie in New Zealand that was just insane, that I loved… and that’s what got me interested in him,” recalled Davis. “We sat down just to talk in general. We went to a bar together with this guy, Matt Reilly, who was an executive at Fox. We started kicking around ideas. And so, this is six years in the making, right? So I’ve waited for him a lot, a lot, a lot of time, but his enthusiasm has remained steadfast. And only he’s going to be able to direct this movie because only he should direct this movie. It is special.”
Taika Waititi’s next and one of MCU’s most awaited film, Thor: Love and Thunder releases next year. Putting full faith in Waititi, Davis said “We’ve been through the development process, not the writing process, but he’s laid out in great detail the characters, the movie, the way in, what it’s about, the tone, all of that stuff, right? And I can’t wait. And we’ll wait for him. Hopefully, we’ll get… Look, he does a lot of movies, right? Believe it or not, he can do a couple of movies a year.”