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Flash Gordon's Original Ending Revealed

Universal Pictures had some of the publicity photos, but not enough to put into a book like this. Nothing ‘behind the scenes’. I went begging around the world asking fans and different people, “please may I have your pictures if I credit you in the book?” A big part of the introduction of the book ended up being the story of how the assets had been dispersed or thrown away. The film cost three times what Star Wars cost. It cost somewhere in the region of $35 million. The idea that nobody kept any of the assets from it, the original artworks for the paintings, for the posters – gone. The models, gone. The costumes were mostly gone. 

A Black And White Behind The Scenes Image From Flash Gordon
A rare behind the scenes look at the making of Flash Gordon

It kept me up at night. I was genuinely quite worried about whether we’d get enough high quality images that would be good enough, but ultimately I got everything I wanted. I even managed to get a high quality unpublished image of Queen from 1980 for a publicity round they did in Japan. Virtually every page has something unseen, never before published, recently found.

It was around the clock. Sometimes it took 20 or 30 hours just to get one image. It was pretty all labor intensive. The easiest part was speaking to the people like the actors, but another problem existed there as well. If you take the Star Wars universe as a comparison, the various actors and filmmakers speak so regularly that you can pretty much find a consensus on how things happened and where they happened. But on this, [lead actor] Sam Jones – naughty, naughty Sam Jones! –  lovely Sam Jones, and Brian Blessed…

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Brian tends to be quite creative, doesn’t he? Every time he tells a story there’s a new spin on it.

Mike [Hodges, director], told me “It’s not true what Brian says in your book that he directed one of the fight sequences.” He said “I love Brian dearly but there’s no way he directed one of the fight sequences. I was there every day and I never would have allowed him to do that. It’s just not what happened.” So between Brian and Sam, they’ve kind of filled in the gaps. As actors often do, they will inflate their parts! 

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Joseph Ellis

Joseph is an experienced freelance journalist. He has worked as a journalist for a few online print-based magazines for around 3 years. He brings together substantial news bulletins from the field of Technology and US. He joined the Sunriseread team for taking the website to the heights.

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