The US SciFi Channel has announced that Eric Johnson will play the lead role of Flash Gordon in SciFi’s 22-episode “modern day retelling of the classic comic strip franchise.” This unofficial fan site for the actor, whose past genre credits include The Dead Zone and Smallville, reports filming began on 1st May.
Some of the sets built for the Tin Man miniseries, SciFi’s revision of The Wizard of Oz, are being used for the Vancouver-based production.
Interviewed by IESB.net, Johnson said “Flash Gordon has a retro-futurisitic feel. It’s the same company making both shows, so whatever you can beg or borrow makes sense. We’re shooting in Vancouver, same place, but this is a very different set. It’s like if someone gave you the frame of a car, and you can easily put a new engine in it.”
Johnson is best known to fans as Whitney Fordman, Lana Lang’s boyfriend on the
early seasons of Smallville.
There’s no word yet on casting for Ming the Merciless, Dale Arden or Dr. Hans Zarkoff, and not a whisper about whether Brian Blessed has been asked to be a hawkman, which is just tragic if you ask me.
Flash Gordon is set to air on SciFi US on 10th August 2007 and is being produced by Reunion Pictures under an agreement with property owner King Features Syndicate. RHI Entertainment is distributing the series internationally with Robert Halmi Sr. and Robert Halmi Jr., who recently worked with Sci Fi on the miniseries Legend of Earthsea, executive producing, and Peter Hume, who has written the opening two episodes, is also expected to exec produce. Matthew O’Connor and Tom Rowe will also serve as producers.
The RHI official site has a template page up for the series, but there’s no information there yet.