Johnson rockets with Sci Fi 'Flash'


"Smallville" alum Eric Johnson has landed the title role in Sci Fi Channel's upcoming series "Flash Gordon."

The 22-hour series, a contemporary take on the popular comic strip franchise, is slated for an August premiere. It will feature Johnson as space traveler Flash Gordon embarking on all-new adventures.

Peter Hume penned the first two episodes, which will be directed by Rick Rosenthal ("Smallville"). Production is to begin May 1 in Vancouver.

"Flash" is being produced by Reunion Pictures under an agreement with property owner King Features Syndicate. RHI Entertainment is distributing the series internationally. RHI's Robert Halmi Sr. and Robert Halmi Jr., who recently worked with Sci Fi on the miniseries "Legend of Earthsea," are executive producing, with Hume also expected to exec produce. Matthew O'Connor and Tom Rowe will serve as producers.

Casting is under way for the other roles, including Flash Gordon's fellow space travelers Dale Arden and Dr. Hans Zarkov.

The "Flash Gordon" comic strip was created in 1934 by Alex Raymond and is being distributed internationally by King Features.

Johnson, best known for his role as Clark Kent's nemesis Whitney Fordman on "Smallville," is repped by the Metropolitan Talent Agency, manager Jai Khanna of Brillstein-Grey Entertainment and attorney Bradley Small.