It's almost exactly a year since we last heard anything about the new Flash Gordon currently developing at Fox. Speaking to 1980's Flash and recent Ted star Sam Jones, however, Den Of Geek have quietly picked up a possible scoop. They've chosen not to trumpet it, probably because it sounds, if not ridiculous, then hugely unlikely. But according to Jones himself, the Fox Flash Gordon is not a reboot or a remake, but a possible sequel.
"Matthew Reilly [VP of production at Fox Studios] acquired the screenplay rights to Flash Gordon last year," says Jones, "and he hired [producer] John Davis and his staff to write the script. They’re looking to bring out a sequel actually. I met with Matt, we’re in talks about that. A lot of people over the years, including Stephen Sommers and Neal H. Moritz, have acquired the screenplay rights, but for whatever reason they did not do a follow up on the option. So I’m very excited about it."
We're in talks? Jones declines to say exactly what that means, so it's unclear if he genuinely thinks he's in contention for another shot at the title or just up for a cameo. But, he says, "I told Matt, however he wants to use me, keep one thing in mind: whatever a younger, leading man can do, I cannot only match him, I can do more! If he does 20 pull-ups, I can do 30 pull-ups. If he can do 100 push-ups, I can do 150 push-ups. Just keep that in mind!"
Back last April, the word was that Bad Robot's J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay, part of the writing process for the third modern Star Trek who have since been replaced, were working on Flash Gordon's screenplay. Their take, it was said, was to rescue Flash from his current reputation as something stupid but much-loved, and restore his reputation as a more serious space adventurer.
Has that changed? Decades-belated sequels are, of course, not without precedent: see Tron: Legacy for a recent example. But whether Flash Gordon could pull off the same trick is, let's say, questionable... And the idea that Jones could play Flash again, unless it's a smaller elder-statesman role in some sort of Son-Of-Flash narrative, would seem impossible.
More questions than answers then, but we live in interesting times. Jones has currently got a Kickstarter campaign in preparation for a self-starring documentary called Life After Flash, and will show up once again in Ted 2, which is out on July 10.