Flaaaaash Gooordooon! The vocals of Queen front-man Freddie Mercury is still vibrantly heard when the name Flash Gordon is announced. After many failed attempts throughout the years, a Flash Gordon reboot is now in the works. Writers of the upcoming Star Trek 3 film Patrick McKay and John D. Payne are rumored to have been penned to write the new screenplay for the interstellar hero.
Flash Gordon centers on the titular character of the same name, he is a Yale Graduate and at times depicted as either a Polo player or an all-star football player. He first sets out to space with his scientist partner and they go around the galaxy helping those in need. His most notable enemy is Ming, a conqueror who rules his world harshly. Flash Gordon represents the all American hero, who could do no wrong and always stood up for those who could not themselves.
Flash Gordon reboot is now in the works, but it actually started as a comic strip from the 1930’s originally created by Alex Raymond. The comic strip was inspired by the Buck Rogers comics and was actually created to compete against it. Since then, various incarnations of the comic strip have been created, from radio series to television and most notably in feature films. Almost all versions of Flash Gordon have been very campy in style, where logic seems to have been thrown out the window and the science in the sci-fi aspect was forgotten.
The most notable version is the 1980 Flash Gordon. The film was made to try to ride the coat-tails of Star Wars, Star Trek and Superman. However the film bombed, and was not received well critically. The film later found life in VHS and late night showings, creating a massive cult-following that stands strong today. The reasons it became a cult classic was due to the funky visuals of the film, the cast which included Max Von Sydow as Ming, and most of all the incredible soundtrack by Queen. The film was recently heavily referenced in the hit 2012 comedy Ted, where Sam Jones even appeared in a cameo role.
At the moment it is unclear of the actual status of the film, all that has been rumored is that Payne and McKay have developed the script. The new take on Flash Gordon will be similar to the new take J.J. Abrams took when he revamped the Star Trek series back in 2009. The writers will try to take a step away from what we know Flash Gordon to be from the 1980 version, and give the story and the character a more real and gritty approach. They want to truly reboot the image of Flash Gordon and turn him into a serious hero with serious adventures, they want to get as far away from the campy style as possible.
The question will be if viewers are ready to take Flash Gordon seriously, or if they even want a reboot at all. John Carter shares a similar story line of an American being sent to space and becoming a galactic hero, and that film turned out to be a box office disaster. If the rumors are true that a Flash Gordon reboot is in the works, it will be exciting to see who will play the titular character and if viewers are ready to let go of the beloved 80’s version and take the hero seriously.
Opinion by: Miguel A. Tamayo