The ever-busy Taika Waititi has added another title to his slate of projects: an animated adaptation of the comic series Flash Gordon. According to Deadline, the Thor: Ragnarok director is attached to the feature, although it’s unclear what his exact role will be.

The cartoonist Alex Raymond conceived Flash Gordon in the 1930s as a rival to the hit comic strip Buck Rogers. It stars the titular character, a dashing Ivy League graduate who becomes entangled in an interplanetary conflict. The comic ran until 2003, inspiring all manner of spin-offs along the way, including a live-action film serial and a number of animated tv series and specials. The most famous adaptation is the knowingly tacky 1980 feature, which features an iconic soundtrack by Queen and has become a cult classic.

The latest installment in the franchise has been in the works for some years, passing through several directors’ hands. Waititi has reportedly been hired to “crack” this troubled project, which Fox has revived as an animated film following its acquisition by Disney.

Flash Gordon isn’t the first animated feature to which Waititi has been attached. He was originally set to direct Bubbles, a stop-motion biopic of Michael Jackson told from the perspective of his pet chimp. In May, Cartoon Brew reported that Waititi had left the project because of scheduling issues; the departure came following the release of the HBO documentary Leaving Neverland, which revived allegations that the pop singer sexually abused children.

Waititi will also direct the long-gestating live-action remake of anime classic Akira, which is due for release in May 2021. Meanwhile, his Nazi-themed dark comedy Jojo Rabbit will premiere later this year.

Alex Dudok de Wit

Alex Dudok de Wit is Deputy Editor of Cartoon Brew.