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Overlord Director Julius Avery To Take On Flash Gordon Reboot

He's a mighty Flash, and he's coming to save the world once again.

According to Hollywood Reporter, Julius Avery, the director at the helm of J.J. Abrams and Bad Robot's forthcoming undead Nazi thriller Overlord, is in talks with Fox to write and direct a new film based on the iconic character Flash Gordon. Flash debuted in comic strips and film serials in the 1930s, and last got the big screen treatment in the gloriously silly, Queen-soundtracked 1980 version starring Sam J. Jones.

The Fox-housed project has been in development for quite some time. Back in 2015, it was announced that Kingsman series director Matthew Vaughn had been hired to rework the property, but his vision was derailed slightly by the startling success of Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy in 2017, which forced the director to rethink his approach. At that time, Vaughn remarked, "Guardians 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."

Apparently, Avery has cracked that code. The promising Aussie director turned heads with his 2014 debut feature, the A24-produced Ewan McGregor-starrer Son of a Gun, which prompted Abrams to hand him the Overlord assignment. That film recently saw its festival premiere at Fantastic Fest, where it pretty much blew everyone away. Early reviews have Overlord currently sitting at a respectable 89 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, and the flick is slated to open in wide release on November 9. 

Vaughn remains aboard as a producer on Flash Gordon, and it'll be interesting to see what type of fresh spin he and Avery can put on a character who influenced everything from DC Comics characters like Batman and Hawkman to Star Wars and, yes, Guardians of the Galaxy. (Tony Stark even gives a winking acknowledgement to this legacy in Avengers: Infinity War by mockingly referring to Star-Lord as Flash Gordon.) It's easy to see how the character would have benefited from the self-aware, lighthearted tone of the Guardians series, and even easier to understand why the project needed rehabbing in order to avoid being perceived as simply a ripoff — but hopefully, Avery and company won't swing too far in the opposite direction. A gritty Flash reboot would surely fall flat with fans of the ultra-campy 1980 version, who have fond memories of Jones' stilted acting and the great Max Von Sydow hamming it up as Flash nemesis Ming the Merciless.

We'll have to see just how the filmmakers plan to update the well-worn world of Flash for modern audiences, but for now, everybody sing it with us: FLASH! AH-AHHHHHH! SAVIOR OF THE UNIVERSE!