Sony Turns Up the Heat on Flash Gordon

Alex Raymond’s comic creation, Flash Gordon, is closer to making its return to the big screen after nearly three decades. The Hollywood Reporter brings word that Sony Pictures tapped scribes Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless to write a screenplay that brings the space adventures of Flash, Dale Arden and Hans Zarkov to a new generation of moviegoers. Sony acquired the property from Hearst’s King Features Syndicate earlier this year.

The Flash Gordon comics debuted in 1934 to provide some competition for the popular Buck Rogers series. Flash soon made his way to movie theaters in a string of serials and later got his own live-action television series in the 1960s. The New Animated Adventures of Flash Gordon hit the airwaves in 1979, followed shortly by the corny, but enjoyable, 1980 feature film starring Sam Jones as Flash and Max von Sydow as Emperor Ming the Merciless.

Nearly a year ago today, SCI FI Channel debuted a new incarnation of Flash Gordon produced by RHI Ent. The short-lived series starred Smallville‘s Eric Johnson as a track athlete who discovers a portal to another world while investigating his father’s disappearance.

The latest live-action Flash movie was originally set up at Universal with Breck Eisner (Sahara), son of former Disney boss Michael Eisner, attached to direct and Neal Moritz to produce. The two will remain on the pic for Sony. Sazama and Sharpless have also been signed to write Dracula Year Zero for Universal and Cobalt 60 for 300 director Zack Snyder.