Flash Gordon 40th anniversary set will include Queen soundtrack and Brian May feature

Flash Gordon 40th anniversary box set
(Image credit: Studiocanal)

Queen and Howard Blake’s soundtrack to the hit 1980 sci-fi movie Flash Gordon will be included in a new box set celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Mike Hodges-directed sci-fi flick.

The film hit the silver screen in 1980 and starred Sam J. Jones in the lead role, Melody Anderson as Dale Arden, Max von Sydow as Ming The Merciless and Brian Blessed as Prince Vultan.

Queen collaborated with composer Howard Blake, making it the first time Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon had worked together on a soundtrack.

Along with all the original album tracks, the Flash Gordon 40th anniversary package will also include a segment titled On The Soundtrack, which features May and Blake.

The film itself will be released on DVD, Blu-ray and as a 4K Collector’s Edition Blu-ray which will come with a host of extras, including a 32-page booklet, a reproduced booklet of the first-ever strip from the original comic books, a poster, interview footage, audio commentaries and more.

Speaking about the new version, Hughes says: “I’m very grateful to Studiocanal for this brilliant 4K restoration – it captures perfectly the vivid colours of the sets, skies and costumes. It also corrects some of the problems encountered with the special effects system we used. 

“With Chroma key compositing we could insert skies, rocket ships, hawk-men, pretty well whatever we wanted, into the blue backing built into the studio sets. The problems came later when we had to eliminate, for example, the wires used on the hawk-men. 

“We were eventually successful but even then some 35mm prints were variable and the wires would be back again. With this new restoration that problem is thankfully laid to rest. Of course Chroma key is primitive by the side of the current process, CGI. That said I’m pleased we stuck with the old fashioned system. CGI would have been too slick. 

“After all Flash Gordon was a cartoon strip from the 1930s brought back to life on celluloid some five decades later.”

The Flash Gordon 40th anniversary edition will be released on August 3 and is now available to pre-oder. Find details below.

Flash Gordon: 40th Anniversary

Flash Gordon: 40th Anniversary
Mike Hodges’ Flash Gordon film hit the silver screen in 1980 and has gone on to become a cult classic. Queen famously teamed up with composer Howard Blake on the soundtrack - and now the fan-favourite is set to be reissued later this year in 4K.

Scott Munro
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