Taika Waititi's Flash Gordon movie will be live-action and "fantastically interesting"

Flash Gordon
(Image credit: Columbia)

Taiki Waititi's animated Flash Gordon movie will now be a live-action feature.

According to its producer John Davis, Waititi is scripting the movie at the moment, which will be entirely live-action. 

"Taika is writing it. It was a movie that was a huge influence on him growing up," Davis told Collider (opens in new tab). "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.'"

The Thor: Love and Thunder filmmaker signed on to write a new version of the comic book character back in 2019, and according to Davis, he has "the most fantastically interesting vision for this movie…. 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 was written and drawn by Alex Raymond, and ran as a comic strip daily from 1934 to 1992. Created as competition for the popular Buck Rogers character, Flash Gordon origins cast him as a Yale University graduate kidnapped and taken to space to help prevent Earth from colliding with a planet. A film adaptation starring Sam Jones as the titular character was released in 1980.

Bearing in mind the length of its duration, Flash's calling changed over the years giving Waititi plenty of places to mine wacky tales for adaptation. The question is, will he direct? His schedule is a tad busy: he's set to star in HBO Max's new pirate comedy Our Flag Means Death, he and long-term collaborator Jermaine Clemente are working on a new comedy series, and he's set to direct a Star Wars movie

Davis seems unfazed about any of those prior commitments. "Well, he's writing it. So 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." 

While the reboot is currently without a release date, you can get your fill of Waititi at the multiplex when Thor: Love and Thunder arrives on May 6, 2022. Until then, catch up with our exclusive oral history of the original Flash Gordon movie at 40.

Gem Seddon is GamesRadar+'s west coast Entertainment News Reporter, working to keep all of you updated on all of the latest and greatest movies and shows on streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime. Outside of entertainment journalism, Gem can frequently be found writing about the alternative health and wellness industry, and obsessing over all things Aliens and Terminator on Twitter.