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Taika Waititi's Flash Gordon Film Might Be Live-Action Now

The Marvel and Star Wars director wrote a script with a new take on the iconic hero

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Taika Waititi wearing an all black suit and holding a microphone at the 2020 AACTA Awards in Sydney, Australia late last year.
Taika Waititi at the 2020 AACTA Awards in Sydney, Australia late last year.
Photo: Brendon Thorne (Getty Images)

Filmmaker Taika Waititi is involved with so many things it’s very easy to forget one or two. For example, you probably remember he’s making Thor: Love and Thunder, and he’s supposed to do a Star Wars movie. You may even know he’s a bad guy in the new Ryan Reynolds movie Free Guy and produces What We Do in the Shadows, which is returning for season three. But did you remember that back in the summer of 2019 news broke that he was working on a Flash Gordon animated film? Well, it did, and today there’s an update.

Collider spoke with producer John Davis, who is working on the project with Waititi, and he said the filmmaker’s vision for the film is no longer animated. “Taika is writing it,” the producer said. “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.’”


It’s one thing to say that, it’s another to find a few years to do it, especially with a filmmaker as busy and in demand as Waititi. But Davis believes he has an ace up his sleeve in the struggle to get him to direct. “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?” Davis said. “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.”

What does that mean exactly? How will Taika’s version be different and unique from the 1980 classic film, which itself adapted a 1930s serial that influenced almost everyone in sci-fi including George Lucas? “He has the most fantastically interesting vision for this movie,” Davis said. “It harkens in a very interesting way to the original conception from the comics.”


io9 reached out to a representative for Waititi who wasn’t aware of the news and no further comment or clarification was available as of publication. We’ll be sure to update if we hear more. But for now, know that in the coming years, not only may we get a Taika Waititi Star Wars movie, we might get his version of the thing that influenced that too. Cue the Queen song.

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