Filmmaker and screenwriter Gary Whitta (The Book of Eli, After Earth) wants to write the sequel to the ’80s cult film The Last Starfighter. The news has been bandied about before. There’s even a couple of high profile Hollywood types that would like to rework the concept with Whitta, but as much as Steven Spielberg and Seth Rogen want to get the project rolling they have to deal with a serious roadblock.
Rogen has attempted to free up the rights to the film, and contacted Spielberg and discussed his efforts to attain the rights. Spielberg replied that even he couldn’t convince Jonathan R. Betuel, who owns the franchise rights, to part with them.
The Last Starfighter arrived in theaters in 1984 from screenwriter Jonathan R. Betuel and director Nick Castle. This was the first movie to do all special effects (except makeup and explosions) on a computer. All shots of spacecraft, space, etc were generated on a Cray X-MP computer.
In 2009, it was announced that a long-awaited sequel which was to be titled Starfighter would take place 25 years after the original film. Norman Snow was confirmed to return as Xur, but the sequel stalled and did not go into production. The sequel may have followed Alex Rogan’s little brother Louis, all grown up, whom misses Alex and is brought to Rylos to become a Starfighter himself or it may have followed Alex and Maggie’s Rylos-born son or daughter who sets out to settle a score with Xur when Alex is killed during a Ko-Dan attack.
In an interview with Slashfilm, Whitta was asked about the film and made this statement.
“Man, I wish. I’m one of a very long list of screenwriters who would kill for the opportunity to bring that back,” he admitted. “It just seems like the rights are impossible to figure out. Maybe one day. If there’s one thing that movie taught me, it’s to never stop believing that anything is possible. Even in Hollywood.”
Here is the synopsis for the original action-sci-fi-adventure film.
Alex Rogan (Lance Guest) lives in a trailer park where his mother (Barbara Bosson) is the manager and everyone is like a big extended family. He beats the Starfighter video game to the applause of everyone and later that day finds he has been turned down for a student loan for college. Depressed, he meets Centauri (Robert Preston,) who introduces himself as a person from the company that made the game. Before Alex knows what’s happening, he is on the ride of his life in a “car” flying through space. Chosen to take the skills he showed on the video game into real combat to protect the galaxy from an invasion, Alex gets as far as the Starfighter base before he realizes that he has been conscripted and requests to be taken back to Earth. When he returns home, he finds a Zando-Zan (an alien bounty hunter) is stalking him. Unable to go home and live, Alex returns to the Starfighter base to find all the pilots have been killed and he is the galaxy’s only chance to be saved from an invasion by Xur and the Ko-Dan Armada.
Sources: /Film, comicbook, IMDb