Gordon's alive! Cult classic Flash Gordon to hit 4K Blu-ray this August

Lovers of camp action and Queen soundtracks have something to look forward to this Summer, as Studiocanal has announced a 4K UHD Blu-ray edition of 1980 cult classic Flash Gordon.

Arriving in five-disc Collector's Edition 4K, two-disc Blu-ray and DVD iterations to celebrate its 40th anniversary, the film – directed by Mike Hodges and starring Brian Blessed, Timothy Dalton and Max von Sydow – has been given given a comprehensive restoration using a 4K scan of the original 35mm negative.

Explains Studiocanal: 'Over 500 hours of manual restoration repaired serious damage that included image instability, scratches and intermittent flicker. The sound was scanned from the original track negative and underwent restoration to improve issues ranging from audio drop-outs throughout the feature and during reel changes, digital clicks and optical distortion.'

Furthermore, with the approval of Hodges, who approved the restoration, some additional VFX work has been applied to remove visible strings in some scenes.

Says Hodges: 'The restoration captures perfectly the vivid colours of the sets, skies and costumes. It also corrects some of the problems encountered with the special effects system we used. With Chroma key compositing we could insert skies, rocket ships, hawk-men, pretty well whatever we wanted, into the blue backing built into the studio sets.

'The problems came later when we had to eliminate, for example, the wires used on the hawk-men. We were eventually successful but even then some 35mm prints were variable and the wires would be back again. With this new restoration that problem is thankfully laid to rest.'

Previous 35mm prints and digital releases were used as a reference for colour grading. The 4K release will feature a Dolby Vision HDR iteration.

Extra features shared across the 4K, Blu-ray and DVD editions include an audio commentary with Hodges, and another with Blessed [you might want to watch that with the sound turned low], plus a behind-the-scenes feature, storyboards and still galleries, and a new look at Nic Roeg's aborted Flash Gordon movie.

A second Blu-ray of bonuses on the BD and 4K sets includes interviews, featurettes, a double-episode of the animated Flash Gordon TV series, soundtrack analysis, and much more.

A further BD on the 4K edition houses Life After Flash, a 2017 feature-length documentary. The 4K set also comes with a 32-page booklet, 16-page mini book, original soundtrack CD, art cards, poster, comic book reproduction and a sew-on 'Flash patch).

All editions are due for release August 3.