ROGUE ONE Screenwriter Gary Whitta Talks About His LAST STARFIGHTER Reboot and Shares Concept Art
Rogue One screenwriter Gary Whitta has announced that he is developing a reboot of the classic 1984 sci-fi film The Last Starfighter. Before you roll your eyes, you might be interested to know that he is developing the film with the original writer of The Last Starfighter, Jonathan Betuel, and he even shared some concept art on Twitter. The cool art, which you can see below, was created by Rogue One concept artist Matt Allsopp and they show off the iconic ships from the original film.
Okay, probably shouldn’t show you this so early but here’s a little something I’ve been tinkering on with my co-writer Jonathan Betuel. You might recognize the ships. Thanks to the amazing Matt Allsopp (lead concept artist on ROGUE ONE) for creating these images for us. pic.twitter.com/CIobLYYRHk— Gary Whitta (@garywhitta) April 4, 2018
io9 has a chance to talk to Whitta about his Last Starfighter reboot and he opens up a bit about what he's planning. After talking about how the movie is one of his all-time favorite films and he thinks the concept is "utterly brilliant" he explains why now is the right time to bring it back. He also explains that the story they have come up with is a reboot and a sequel:
"The simple answer to that is Jonathan Betuel. Jon created and wrote the original movie, it was all his idea, a spec script he wrote while he was working as a waiter in Hollywood in the early ’80s. There was a whole bidding war over that script. In all the years hence, whenever I’ve brought up the idea of a Starfighter reboot in meetings, people would always convey excitement and then say that it’s impossible because the rights are a mess. It’s true that it’s not simple, but part of the key to it is, as I understand it (and I’m not a lawyer), Jon still retains some piece of ownership of the original IP, so no one can make a new movie without his participation. I happened to track Jon down, and after I was done pestering him with all my fanboy questions about the original film we started to talk about what a new version might look like. Since then we’ve spent so many hours working on it I’ve long since lost count, but right now we have a fully developed story that is a combination of reboot and sequel that we both think honors the legacy of the original film while passing the torch to a new generation. We’re both very excited about it creatively."
Whitta explains that this is a passion project for he and Betuel and the are both confident that they have developed a great story for a great movie. He goes on to say:
"But we still need to deal with some remaining biz stuff before we can really move forward. We’ve had a lot of talks with Universal. We’re determined, one way or another, to make this happen. Trying to create in Hollywood is always like pushing a boulder uphill, particularly when there are archaic rights issues involved, but we’re going to keep trying. That’s the lesson of Starfighter... when you get your chance you’ve got to grab it with both hands, and hold on tight."
I am a huge fan of this film and I love that the original creator is involved. I also like the fact that the movie will be a sequel that will reboot the franchise. That's a much better route than just doing a straight-up reboot. Connecting it to the original film is the smart way to go.
The story of the original film centers on a video game expert named Alex Rogan who finds himself transported to another planet after conquering The Last Starfighter video game only to find out it was just a test. He was recruited to join the team of best starfighters to defend their world from the attack.
What do you think about Whitta developing a new Last Starfighter movie?