Flash Gordon director Mike Hodges dies at 90

PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 20: Director Mike Hodges of the movie

PARK CITY, UT – JANUARY 20: Director Mike Hodges of the film ‘I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead’ poses for portraits during the 2004 Sundance Film Festival on January 20, 2004 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Carlo Allegri/Getty Images)

Carlo Allegri/Getty

British director Mike Hodges, known for films like Flash Gordon and dealer, is dead. He was 90 years old.

His death was confirmed to NBC News by the producer and I’ll sleep when I’m dead collaborator Mike Kaplan. According to Kaplan, Hodges died on Saturday at his home in Dorset, England, from heart failure.

A representative for Hodges did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

Hodges’ long career dates back to the 1950s.

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Before breaking into film, he spent two years on compulsory national service on a Royal Navy minesweeper, which he credits as the inspiration for his first film, Get Carter.

In a letter published by The Guardian in May, he explained: “For two years my middle-class eyes were forced to witness horrific poverty and deprivation that I was unaware of before. I entered the navy as an accountant newly qualified licensed and complacent young conservative, and I came out an angry and radical young man.”

“Twenty years later, when I was asked to adapt Ted Lewis’s great book, I recognized that world and attached my own experiences to it,” he added.

His second film, Pulpcame only a year later Get Carterfrom 1971, with Hodges’ directorial talent rising to prominence with the 1980s Flash Gordon.

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Queen Elizabeth Flash Gordon Sam Jones

Queen Elizabeth Flash Gordon Sam Jones

Universal/Kobal/Shutterstock

The space movie gained an instant cult following, referenced throughout pop culture even 40 years after its debut. Although based on the 1930s comic of the same name, Hodges told the BBC in 2020 that he “honestly thought he would never see the light of a spotlight”.

Although Hodges’ career spanned several crime dramas, his work also shone in television, directing the 1984 films Squaring the circle and 1994 dead dandelionwho won a BAFTA in 1995.

His latest project came in the form of a fictional novel titled Watch the wheels come off in 2010.

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Following news of his death, film and comic book writer Brian Lynch shared his condolences and respect for the deceased director.

“FLASH GORDON director Mike Hodges has passed away. I finally saw this movie during the pandemic and it gave me such joy. I’ve watched it many times since. Nothing else compares. Rest Rest in peace, sir,” he wrote in a tweet on Tuesday.

Hodges is survived by his wife, Carol Laws, and two sons, Ben and Jake Hodges, according to The Guardian.

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