The 1984 sci-fi cult classic The Last Starfighter is getting a reboot from Rogue One‘s Gary Whitta, and he just shared the first details. Centered around a young kid named Alex Rogan (Lance Guest), The Last Starfighter takes audiences on a wild adventure through unusual circumstances. Alex becomes a warrior after successfully beating The Last Starfighter game, which was actually just a training mechanism to find help in this war.
Although the film is critically well-received, it was not a major hit at the time. It has since garnered a good fan base, and has been an IP that’s been looked to be rebooted a number of times. A few years back, Rogue One screenwriter Gary Whitta expressed his desire to reboot The Last Starfighter, and it looks like he’s well on his way.
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Whitta shared the latest developments on his reboot of The Last Starfighter today. He posted four pieces of concept art done by Rogue One artist Matt Allsopp that showcases his take on this world. Following this surprise, Whitta spoke to io9 about his vision for the reboot – that’s also a sequel. He’s collaborating with original screenwriter and creator Jonathan Betuel, and they’ve made great progress.
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.
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
With a story locked in and concept art already done, it would appear as though Whitta’s Last Starfighter is moving along nicely. However, he later cautioned that there’s still quite a few steps they must take to really get it off the ground.
It’s a passion project for Jon and me both. And I know we have a great movie here. 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.
Last Starfighter is primed for a reboot, and Whitta’s development may have come at the perfect time. Hollywood is all about reboots right now, as studios look to capitalize on existing IPs instead of creating new ones. Even though it is a cult hit, Last Starfighter has plenty of room to grow in terms of exposure and become a really big hit. Plus, with big sci-fi making a return, now could be the time for another go around.
As for how Whitta plans to bring Last Starfighter back, those details will have to wait until another day. But, recruiting more gamers in the modern day could be the way to go. They could go the route of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and update the game, or have nostalgia play a factor and be similar to TRON: Legacy by having a new generation stumble upon the original game. However it could happen, we’ll still have to wait and see if The Last Starfighter does get another chance.
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Source: Gary Whitta; io9