'Flash Gordon' pace quickens with scribes


NEW YORK -- "Flash Gordon" is moving ahead at breakneck speed.

Sony has signed writers Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless to pen the script for the new take on the outer space tale, just a few months after winning rights to the title from Hearst.

"Flash Gordon" centers on the titular young polo player who is kidnapped and taken to the distant planet Mongo, where he and companions Dale Arden and Hans Zarkov embark on a series of adventures fighting a ruler named Ming the Merciless.

Sony's "Flash," a live-action film, follows in a 75-year tradition across many media for what began life as Alex Raymond's comic strip; the property was a movie serial in the 1930s, a Sam Jones-toplined feature in 1980 and a recent Sci Fi Channel series.

The ICM-repped Sazama and Sharpless are penning the vampire tale "Dracula Year Zero" for Universal and Zack Snyder's "Cobalt 60."

The new "Flash" originally had been set up at Universal, but rights reverted to Hearst's King Features Syndicate after the project sat in development for several years.

Breck Eisner is attached to direct and Neal Moritz to produce, as they were when the project was set up at Universal.
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