Fox Confirms They’re Bringing ‘Flash Gordon’ Back for More Movie Magic

By April 23, 2014

Remember all the way back to, oh, last week? When we wondered if Flash Gordon was about to get its own big screen reboot, thanks to the rumor that a pair of screenwriters had been hired on to pen a fresh take on the comic strip hero? Turns out, this little rumor just might be very, very true.

At least, it’s true enough that Twentieth Century Fox has gone ahead and bought the screen rights to the classic pulp hero, with those rumored screenwriters — J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay — set to write the feature.

THR reports the the studio has “closed a deal to pick up the screen rights to the pulp comic-strip hero,” with producer John Davis also on board to produce the project, which has apparently been a bit of a passion project for the guy, as he has “spent more than a year nailing down the rights from the Hearst Corporation.” Davis is also responsible for hiring screenwriter George Nolfi to write a treatment for the film, before finding and signing Payne and McKay. Nolfi (The Adjustment Bureau, The Bourne Ultimatum) will not be writing the feature with the newbie scribes, but he will remain as a producer on the film, alongside Davis.

Flash Gordon2

There’s no word on what we can expect from the new film, but THR’s article indicates that “Hollywood has been trying to make a new movie and possibly a franchise for ages,” which indicates that we’re most likely in for at least an origin story here. Flash last hit the big screen in a weirdly cheesy 1980 feature — one that has become something of a cult classic — so this is absolutely a case of a comic strip hero who has already gotten an origin tale but is primed for a new one (take some notes here, Spider-Man).

McKay and Payne are also a pair to watch — they’re writing the latest Star Trek feature and have also penned scripts for Boilerplate, based on a graphic novel, and even a take on the ’70s toy line Micronauts. Their tastes and niche sounds in line with Flash Gordon and his adventures, so at the very least, this still-gestating feature has some exciting talent behind it.

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Kate Erbland
Kate Erbland is a staff writer for movie news and reviews at GeekNation. Her work can also be found at Film School Rejects, ScreenCrush, Vanity Fair, The Dissolve, Cosmopolitan, Bustle, amNewYork, New York Daily News, Dame Magazine, Mental Floss,, MSN Movies, and Boxoffice Magazine. She lives in New York City with two cats, two turtles, one boyfriend, and a frightening number of sensible canvas totes.