Universal via Everett Collection
Who can save you now!
Whether you’re ready or not, Flash Gordon, the savior of the universe, is headed to the silver screen once again. No, this isn’t a reprise of that long-winded running gag from Seth Mcfarlane’s Ted. The classic Flash Gordon comic strip is really being rebooted into a modern film. 20th Century Fox has recently picked up the screen rights to the character. John Davis is set to produce the film, while J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay are lined up to pen the script.
The pulpy adventurer was originally created in the pages of a 1930s comic strip. The character and his adventures have been featured in numerous serials, radio shows, and television shows over the decades, including a recent TV adaptation on the Syfy channel, but none have made the same cultural impact as the cult classic 1980 film. Looking back, the film is a hokey, camp-laden joy ride that’s clearly a product of its time. In the film, Flash Gordon, the quarterback for the New York Jets, is whisked away to the planet Mongo where Emperor Ming the Merciless rules with an iron fist and immaculately crafted facial hair. Given how ridiculous the original movie was and the recent failures of other classic heroes (John Carter and The Lone Ranger come to mind), it’s a wonder why anyone thinks it’s a good idea to resurrect a hero whom most adults even have a tough time remembering. Just looking at the original theatrical trailer for the 1980 version of Flash Gordon gives us plenty of reasons why the character should probably stay in the past.
-The shot of Earth in the beginning looks like someone stole a globe, hung it with some chicken wire, and spun it in front of some black construction paper. Boom, special effects!
-But Flash’s hair. It’s honestly wonderful. And it’s always perfectly coifed no matter what sort of action is going on.
-Queen’s bombastic theme song. It’s so ’80s it hurts.
-Emperor Ming’s beard is a feat of manscaping. One the world has not since topped, and should not expect to.
-The costumes make the film look like it was wardrobed by a Party City clearance rack.
-The film stops mid-movie for a game of Fabergé egg football. Get it? ‘Cause he’s a quarterback.
-What the heck is even happening at 1:03?
-Why is Flash wearing a t-shirt with his name on it? Does he just sometimes forget who he is, or did people just do that in 1980?