Overlord’s Jules Avery To Direct Flash Gordon Adaptation

by Erik Amaya

 

Every few years, a filmmaker comes along with the intent to make a feature film based on Flash Gordon. The latest would-be helmer: Overlord‘s Jules Avery.
Deadline reports the director will adapt the comic strip for 20th Century Fox and producer Matthew Vaughn, a previous contender for the project’s center seat. The strip itself, created by Alex Raymond, debuted in 1934 and told the tale of adventurer Flash Gordon and his battles with Ming the Merciless on the planet Mongo. The popularity of the strip led to movie serials and, eventually, the 1980 Flash Gordon feature film directed by Get Carter‘s Mike Hodges. The film’s campy tone won it little acclaim at the time of its release, but it has grown a cult following in the decades since. It also became a major plot point in the Seth MacFarlane film Ted.
Of course, it remains to be seen what sort of take Avery will bring to the project. A light adventure might seem appropriate, but considering Fox will be the home of Disney’s more mature-themed content come 2019, a darker Flash is always possible.
And we should probably mention the difficulty in making Ming palatable to modern eyes. Encased in a number of Yellow Peril tropes, Ming can be construed as a racist caricature. Though the serials and 1980 movie use the character’s traditional robes, both downplay any unsavory ethnic stereotypes thanks to actors like Max Von Sydow offering their own personas to the role. Nonetheless, Fox could find itself facing the pitfalls Doctor Strange faced when casting The Ancient One. Perhaps Avery’s take confronts that issue directly.
Flash Gordon is not yet scheduled for release.

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