Flash Gordon Originally Had Much Grander Ambitions For Its Big Finale

Perhaps the most interesting thing about these cuts is why they were made in the first place. According to a Variety review published in 1979, “Flash Gordon” cost around $20 million to produce. Adjusted for inflation, this would be the equivalent of approximately $72 million in 2022 — a minor price tag for modern blockbusters, but a ton of money to invest in a film back in 1980. One would probably assume that the film’s budget was a factor in certain elements being scrapped, as has typically been the case in similar situations from the past.

Surprisingly, however, that actually wasn’t the case. According to John Walsh, the climatic wedding battle and other aspects of the original treatment could have been shot on the film’s budget. The “Flash Gordon” production team just didn’t have the time to do so.

“Literally, the pages were pulled,” he explained. “They were like ‘No time for that, haven’t got time for that.’ They had the money for it, but no time.”

It’s fair to say that “Flash Gordon” has been given a new lease on life as a cult favorite, so much so that it could even get a Taika Waititi-helmed re-imagining in the near future. While the original plan for the gonzo ending might have fallen through, what we got was a fun and extravagant space romp, and can you really hate that? I don’t think so.

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