Taika Waititi To Try His Hand At Flash Gordon

by Erik Amaya

The Savior of the Universe might be getting the Taika Waititi treatment.
Deadline reports the writer/director/actor will take a “crack” at the Alex Raymond comic strip for a Fox/Disney animated feature. The strip debuted in 1934 and told the tale of adventurer Flash Gordon and his battles with Ming the Merciless on the planet Mongo. The popularity of the strip led to movie serials and, eventually, the 1980 Flash Gordon feature film directed by Get Carter‘s Mike Hodges. The film’s campy tone won it little acclaim at the time of its release, but it has grown a cult following in the decades since. It also became a major plot point in the Seth MacFarlane film Ted. Flash Gordon’s media history also includes a couple of animated series — notably the 1985 series Defenders of the Earth, which teamed Flash with other King Features Syndicate comic strip characters like The Phantom and Mandrake the Magician — and a little watched live action Syfy series earlier this century.
In October of 2018, Overlord‘s Jules Avery signed on to direct a live action Flash Gordon feature, but this was before 20th Century Fox and its assets were sold to Disney. It seems the live action project collapsed as Disney began to integrate Fox; leaving Flash Gordon to become an animated project. It is unclear just how involved Waititi will be in the production, but hopefully he’ll play Ming the Merciless; a character who could be a minefield of bad tropes unless completely reinvented and handled with Waititi’s magic touch.
Flash Gordon will be released in the fullness of time.

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