Taika Waititi is the man of the hour in Hollywood. Episodes of The Mandalorian are included on a resume that has two Thor entries, and an upcoming Star Wars movie in the mix. Two years ago he was hired by Fox to take a look at Flash Gordon, something that many filmmakers had struggled with over the years.

A camp-classic was produced in the 1980s, and since then the pulp 1930s sci-fi adventure had struggled to be remade as nobody could ever quite nail the tone, mostly thanks to the 1980’s version looming large.

Waititi’s solution was to go animated, and a cartoon version was expected. Now that plan has changed. Producer John Davis dropped the news to Collider:

“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.’”

Thor: Ragnarok was basically the best heir to the 80s Flash Gordon movie, with comedy, action, bright primary colors, operatic villains, and sumptuous environments. So more of the same for Flash Gordon?  Apparently not, according to Davis:

“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 plain. And this movie embraces everything that’s special about Taika, and his vision. It harkens in a very interesting way to the original conception from the comics.”

Flash Gordon, the earth athlete who is embroiled in an interstellar war in the kingdom of Ming The Merciless, was first a comic strip and then a 1930s serial. Overlord filmmaker Julius Avery had been linked to an earlier live-action version.

While Waititi is only confirmed as a writer, Davis wants him in the chair:

“Only he’s going to be able to direct this movie because only he should direct this movie. It is special. We’ll wait for him.”

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