April 24, 2018
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1984 sci-fi adventure ‘The Last Starfighter’ is now considered a cult hit. — AFP picLOS ANGELES, April 6 — Gary Whitta, scriptwriter on Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, is teasing a hybrid reboot and sequel of cult 80s sci-fi film The Last Starfighter.

The writer behind Rogue One has unveiled a selection of concept art pieces for a new version of The Last Starfighter.

Earlier this week, and after the first weekend successes of Ready Player One, Ernest Cline’s second novel, Armada, moved closer to cinematic reality after Universal Pictures hired a writer for the movie’s draft screenplay.

Armada references 1980s cult classic The Last Starfighter and now it seems that Universal is moving ahead with a hybrid reboot and sequel for the latter movie.

Rogue One writer Gary Whitta posted four images to Twitter, prompting immediate comparisons with The Last Starfighter.

“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,” he wrote on April 4.

As it happens, Betuel wrote The Last Starfighter.

Whitta himself encouraged such associations. “You might recognise the ships,” he wrote, crediting Rogue One concept lead Matt Allsopp with their creation.

The rocket ships depicted in the four illustrations bear a striking resemblance to those in 1984’s The Last Starfighter, as did several emblems and pilot jumpsuit designs.

In the movie, teenager Alex Rogan plays an arcade game called “Starfighter” and becomes so proficient at it that the game’s creator makes contact with him.

It soon becomes apparent that the game is a recruitment tool for the Rylan Star League, an interplanetary alliance locked in a struggle with the Ko-Dan Empire, and Alex is invited to join up.

Lest there be any doubt about the connection, Whitta followed up with a still from the original movie and, later, four more pieces of concept art, signing off with the phrase #GreetingsStarfighter.

“Right now we have a fully developed story that is a combination of reboot and sequel that we both think honours the legacy of the original film while passing the torch to a new generation,” he then told io9.

“We’re trying really hard to make this a reality. It’s a passion project for Jon and me both.”

“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,” he continued, namechecking Universal Pictures — which distributed the 1984 classic — in reference to continuing talks.

How did this new project come about?

“Jon still retains some piece of ownership of the original [intellectual property], so no one can make a new movie without his participation,” Whitta offered.

“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… We’re both very excited about it creatively.” — AFP-Relaxnews

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