'The Last Starfighter' Sequel is Still in the Works; Original Writer Provides a Status Update

1984’s science fiction adventure film The Last Starfighter captured the imaginations of a generation, and screenwriters have been wanting to remake it or tell more stories in that universe for decades. Now, more than thirty-five years after the original premiered, a sequel is closer than ever.

Jonathan Betuel, who co-wrote the original film, recently gave a The Last Starfighter sequel update and explained that he is still working on a follow-up film with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story writer Gary Whitta, and that finally, after years of trying to secure the rights, “it looks like we’ll be making the deal to get it going.”

The Last Starfighter centered on a teenaged boy living in a trailer park who used video games as a way to disappear from his humdrum life. When he becomes the highest scoring player on an arcade game called Starfighter, the boy is kidnapped by an alien and learns that the game is actually a training simulator for a real-life interplanetary conflict, and he’s drafted into their war. (Simply put, it’s like a combination of Ender’s Game meets Ready Player One.) Here’s the trailer for the original film:

In a new interview with Moviehole, Betuel reveals that he and Gary Whitta are still chipping away at The Last Starfighter sequel.

“It looks like we’ll be making the deal to get it going,” he said. “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.”

Betuel waved away rumors that the project would be a TV series and instead doubled down on the fact that it’ll 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.”

As for story details, he explained 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.”

You can read some more about the project and even see more concept art here.

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