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WATCH: Sizzle reel reveals what Gary Whitta’s proposed Last Starfighter sequel might look – and sound – like

April 20th, 2021 by Marc Comments

We’ve known for several years now that a sequel to 1980s classic The Last Starfighter has been being developed (here) and now we have a look at just what exactly it may look like.

Gary Whitta has revealed a sizzle reel he, wrote Jon Betuel, concept artist Matt Allsopp and composer Chris Tilton have been working on – and you can see it below.

In a recent interview, Whitta, writer of The Book of Eli and Rogue One said of The Last Starfighter: “It is a deeply special movie for me. In terms of movies that stirred my imagination as a kid, it’s right up there with Star Wars. Maybe because I was a video game junkie back then, but the idea that playing a game could be a magic ticket to a real space adventure, I just always thought that concept was utterly brilliant. The film is sorely underrated in my view, although it’s endured as a cult classic and every time I bring it up in conversation people seem to just light up.”

Fair enough. The original movie told the tale of Alex Rogan, a teenager who is outstanding at the video game of the same name, who finds out the game is actually a recruitment device for an alien defense force caught up in an intergalactic battle. The story is great, the effects… not so much.

But now, finally, it looks like Whitta may have cracked the struggle of getting the movies rights: “Jon (Betuel) created and wrote the original movie, it was all his idea… 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.”

He goes on: “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 [and] 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.”

But will it actually happen? “We’ve had a lot of talks with Universal,” Whitta says.

“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.”

So, what say you? Is it time for a Last Starfighter return? The movie was up there with Star Wars, ET, Big Trouble In Little China and similar movies for its importance to a whole generation of moviegoers so maybe, just maybe, it’s time to put another coin in the slot.

Story: Gary Whitta & Jonathan Betuel
Music: Chris Tilton & Craig Safan
Concept art: Matt Allsopp

Marc is a self-confessed nerd. Ever since seeing Star Wars for the first time around 1979 he’s been an unapologetic fan of the Wars and still believes, with Clone Wars and now Underworld, we are yet to see the best Star Wars. He’s a dad of two who now doesn’t have the time (or money) to collect the amount of toys, comics, movies and books he once did, much to the relief of his long-suffering wife. In the real world he’s a graphic designer. He started Following the Nerd because he was tired of searching a million sites every day for all the best news that he loves and decided to create one place where you can go to get the whole lot. Secretly he longs to be sitting in the cockpit of his YT-1300 Corellian Transport ship with his co-pilot Chewie, roaming the universe, waiting for his next big adventure, but feels just at home watching cartoons with his kids….