Taika Waititi is going back to space, as Deadline has just announced that the Thor: Ragnarok director is attached to Disney/Fox’s Flash Gordon animated feature film. Initial reports are that he’s set to write and helm, with his talents being a perfect fit for the project after the colorful retro-futurism he brought to Ragnarok helped make it such a hit.
This version of Flash Gordon has been in development for some time, with Kingsman‘s Matthew Vaughn and Overlord‘s Julius Avery attached to the project at various points. Now, however, Waititi is on board and from what we understand, it’ll be an origin story for the character, meaning it’ll most likely take more inspiration from Alex Raymond’s classic 1930s comics than the (awesome) 1980 movie adaptation.
The comics begin with an arc in which Earth is threatened with collision by the planet Mongo, leading scientist Dr. Hans Zarkov to invent a rocket ship to fly into space and prevent the calamity. He kidnaps the handsome and capable Flash and his friend Dale and the three travel to the planet, where they go on to clash with the despotic Ming the Merciless. It’s an extremely retro style of story, so it’ll be interesting to see which tone Waititi takes with this.
In the meantime, he’s still working on Jojo Rabbit, a very strange movie in which a young boy in Nazi Germany discovers that his mother is hiding a Jewish girl. The boy’s torn on whether to report this or not, only to be guided by the voice of his imaginary friend, Adolf Hitler.
Waititi has also recently left a Netflix animated film which was intended to tell the story of Michael Jackson through the eyes of his pet chimpanzee Bubbles. He departed that project because of scheduling conflicts, but let’s face it, nobody wants to watch a whimsical animated movie about Michael Jackson after HBO’s Leaving Neverland, right?
As for Flash Gordon, it’s still early days, but we’ll let you know as soon as we hear more.