The Last Starfighter was set to be return long before the recent wave of ‘80s movie and TV show reboots and sequels. It was set up at Relativity, but rights issues killed the project even before Relativity itself filed for bankruptcy. Now director Nick Castle tells us what that sequel could have been, while giving an interview for the new 4K reissue of the original Halloween.
“This was 10 years ago or more, maybe 12 years ago,” Castle said. “I think it was 2005 and it was going to be at that point a 30 year, 35 year sequel. It was literally a sequel where Lance [Guest] and Catherine Marie [Stewart], the leads were going to come back as parents. We had a fun script so I’m not sure right now where Jonathan [Betuel] is going to take it. He has a partner named Gary Whitta who wrote Rogue One so he’s in good company there. Hopefully, they’ll mount something fun and we’ll see our characters again.”
That decade of development hell puts 34 years between the original Last Starfighter and now. Let’s hope Betuel still has roles for Guest and Stewart, but it sounds like a complete rewrite is in the works. Castle hopes to get involved in any way he can behind the scenes.
“Now just this last year, the writer has retained the rights legally now,” Castle said. “So he’s going to go out a second time around and get this thing done. I won’t be a part of it as a director. Hopefully, I’ll help out in the background but we’d love to do that. It’s so ready. The ‘80s, of course, are being mined by everything. It’s like the last thing that has not gotten remade or had a sequel. I’d love to see that continue on.”
Guest starred as a video game champion who got recruited to fly an actual starship in an alien battle. The movie was groundbreaking for its use of CGI in the space battle sequences, techniques which have long since been perfected and become de rigueur for any Star Trek or Star Wars movie.
“Those were real baby steps back then,” Castle said. “It was impressive, that’s for sure, because no one really had done that It looks so dated now. I look back and I cringe. The work that can be done now, it’s ubiquitous. You do it, it’s so well done, the artists are amazing. When we did it it was all research and development that went on at the same time as we were doing the movie. It certainly was, from a historical point of view, an important movie in that sense. Now, of course, that won’t be the issue. It will be using technology that everyone’s familiar with.”