Gary Whitta is a writer whose work transcends multiple mediums. He started out as one of the founders of PC Magazine, and from there took over as the editor-in-chief From there, he began to pursue screenwriting, and that’s where he still is today.
Whitta made waves in the movie industry with his work on the 2010 film Book of Eli. Since then, he was able to get the writing gig for one of the Star Wars spinoffs. No details yet on what his standalone film will entail, besides a few rumors, but Godzilla director Gareth Edwards is on-board to direct. Whitta has since parted way with Star Wars, after finishing his draft of the film before going into be polished up by Cinderella screenwriter Chris Weitz.
Whitta may not be working on Star Wars anymore, but he already has his sights set on another sci-fi franchise. While talking with /Film, he revealed that he would love to create a remake of The Last Starfighter, but one small issue is preventing him from doing so:
Man, I wish. I’m one of a very long list of screenwriters who would kill for the opportunity to bring that back. 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.
Whitta, of course, is talking about the 1984 space opera following an average teenage boy who is launched into an alien war after being recruited through a video game. Tron, a similar cult classic, received a sequel a few years back, which did relatively well at the box office. The potential for a successful movie is there, but one thing is preventing it from happening.
The one issue holding him back happens to be the rights to the movie. A number of filmmakers, including Seth Rogen and Steven Spielberg, have in the past tried to acquire permission for a remake. Jonathan R. Betuel, the writer of the original, won’t budge, as of yet at least.
A remake of The Last Starfighter may not be coming within the next few years, but it’s not completely off the table for the future. Guardians of the Galaxy was compared many a time to it, and that managed to become one of the most prominent blockbusters of last year. Given how ahead of its time The Last Starfighter was, both in terms of story and special effects, it’d almost be a mistake not to remake it with some updated visuals and bring it to a modern audience. For now, though, the original will have to do.