In a weird way, Guardians of the Galaxy has both opened and closed the door for big, bold space operas. On the one hand, it shows that there’s an audience for weird, goofy sci-fi space adventures. On the other hand, James Gunn’s take is so unique that other filmmakers might be worried about being in Guardians’ shadow and not able to make their take stand apart.
That seems to be the issue that director Matthew Vaughn has run into with his planned remake of the 1980 cult classic Flash Gordon. Vaughn signed on to direct the film in April 2015, but word on the remake has been silent since then. For those unfamiliar with Flash Gordon, it’s based on a 1930s comic strip, and it follows a football player (played by Sam J. Jones), who gets caught up in a trip to space where he must defeat the evil Emperor Ming the Merciless.
Steve Weintraub spoke to Vaughn at the press day for Vaughn’s new film, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, and asked if Flash Gordon was still happening:
“Yeah, we’ve been working on it. For me, the only problem with Flash Gordon is Guardians [of the Galaxy] kind of stole what I would have liked to have done with it. You’ve got Star Wars, you’ve got Guardians, so you’ve got to have your own space opera, but you have to find something that can survive among these two very, very great franchises.”
If you’ve seen Flash Gordon, you can definitely see how Guardians could have stolen Flash’s thunder, and now Vaughn is in the tricky position of trying to find out what to do with the property. To stay true to the original, you’d have to do something goofy and funny, and going in a serious direction wouldn’t really work considering the story is about a football player who saves the galaxy.
Should Vaughn finally go ahead with Flash Gordon, it will only be because he’s full-speed ahead on it:
“The way I choose films is when I know I have to make it. Simple as that. There will be a moment where I can’t think of anything else other than getting behind a camera and shooting a movie. It’s a very hard switch to click; once it’s on, nothing stops me.”
It will be interesting to see where Vaughn goes next. If Kingsman: The Golden Circle is a hit, I wouldn’t be surprised if he tries to go with a third installment, but he could just as easily pick up another project.
For more from our interview with Vaughn, check out the links below:
- Matthew Vaughn Teases His Potential Take on ‘Superman’ as “Heroic” and “Feel-Good”
- ‘Kingsman 2’: Matthew Vaughn Says Fox Considered Splitting the Sequel into Two Films