Exclusive: Breck Eisner on 'Flash Gordon' 3D and 'The Brood'

A week before the release of the hotly anticipated film The Crazies (hotly anticipated by this journalist), we chatted exclusively with director Breck Eisner.  Invariably, the conversation went towards upcoming projects, including his pet project, Flash Gordon.  He gives us “more on the film than I’ve given anyone yet,” as well as a taste of what else we may see from him next.

FEARnet: I heard that you are getting ready to turn in a draft of Flash Gordon to the studio.  Can you give us an update?

Breck Eisner: It took a lot of work to break story on this.  It has nothing to do with the camp of the 1980s [film] or the serials.  We looked back to the Alex Raymond comic strips from the 1930s and imagined the film as if Raymond were still alive today, drawing those comics.  The movie is intense, there is action and adventure, it is dynamic and it is off-world.  It will definitely focus on the lead character, Flash Gordon.  It’s more of an origin story for Flash Gordon.

We intend to shoot it in 3D if we get to that point.  Making these movies are difficult, and getting them green-lit is difficult.  We have a schedule going [to the studio] in a couple of months, and hopefully the studio will like the script and want to spend the giant bucks that this movie would need.  It’s a project I have been passionate about for years.  I have been pursuing it for years.  I’m hopeful I will get to make it one day.

How long have you been pursuing it?

Years.  It had been optioned multiple times, it had started and stopped.  It’s a very difficult project [to film], but I have been keeping my eye on it.  Once the rights reverted back to the original owners, Hearst, I met with them and persuaded the guys to let me take the property out and pitch it. 

In terms of working on it, I interviewed a lot of writers and found two writers I really liked [Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless].  They’ve been on for almost a year.  We’ve done one draft and are on the second draft now.  I was taken away from the development of Flash Gordon to focus on The Crazies.  After post on The Crazies, I was able to spend two solid months with the guys, breaking story.

It’s been fun.  It’s a total dream job.

I hear you are working on a remake of The Brood.

That’s very, very early in the process.  I was approached about it, and I really like Cory Goodman, the writer.  I like the script, and I like the guys at Spyglass Entertainment who are doing the film.  I am a big fan of the original, and that is one of the issues for me.  I have to really think about it and do a gut-check and see if I feel that this is one that really should be remade.  That’s something I am trying to decide these days.

Are you looking for more genre projects?

Yeah, I look for genre.  That’s the world I like to work in.  For a filmmaker, it’s a great place to be, and as a film goer, it’s what I enjoy.

The trend these days is really towards remakes.  Are there any properties that you feel shouldn’t be messed with?

There are a ton I could cite that I don’t think should be messed with!  Pretty much all the movies I really love.  I am a big fan of horror from the late 1960s, the 1970s, and early 1980s.