A couple of years ago we learned that Star Wars: Rogue One screenwriter Gary Whitta was developing a reboot of the classic 1984 sci-fi film The Last Starfighter. This is a project that I’ve actually been pretty excited about, but it’s been a while since we’ve had an update. I’ve actually been wondering what the status of the project is, and thankfully, it’s still in development!
Jonathan Betuel, the co-writer of the original film, recently gave an update on the sequel and explained that he’s still working on the sequel with Whitta. While talking with Moviehole, Betuel said:
“It looks like we’ll be making the deal to get it going. Gary’s a gifted collaborator, we’ll be writing the script together but it’s taken a long time. I had to go through a process that took years to recapture the rights, but that was recently completed and although nothing is ever clear sailing, it looks like we have a really good opportunity now. So I’m really looking forward to taking it up.”
We’ve already seen some concept art for the project, which got fans super excited. Betuel went on to confirm that the sequel will be “a movie with all the bells and whistles, and it won’t presuppose that you’ve seen the original film. There’ll be references here and there, but it’ll carry the saga forward.”
When talking about the story, he shared that “the leads are now parents and time has passed. It’s not a remake, it’s going to continue the story. What’s changed is time itself, certainly as the video world and the alien world have continued to tick away. It’s not a time capsule of the ’80s by any means, we’re taking it to the next level. Passing the torch…or the joystick.”
Whitta previously opened up about what he was planning for the film and explained why now is the right time to bring The Last Starfighter back. He also offered some story details saying:
“The simple answer to that is Jonathan Betuel. Jon created and wrote the original movie, it was all his idea, a spec script he wrote while he was working as a waiter in Hollywood in the early ’80s. There was a whole bidding war over that script. In all the years hence, 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. 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. 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.”
Whitta has said that this is a passion project for them, and they are both confident that they have developed a great story for a great movie.
The Last Starfighter is a cool movie and a favorite of mine from when I was growing up. It’s so cool that after all these years we are going to get a sequel!
The story of the original film centered on a video game expert named Alex Rogan who finds himself transported to another planet after conquering The Last Starfighter video game only to find out it was just a test. He was recruited to join the team of best starfighters to defend their world from the attack.