Sony Pictures Entertainment has emerged the highest bidder for the '30s comicstrip Flash Gordon, inking a deal with Hearst for the rights to adapt into a live-action film.

According to Variety, Breck Eisner (Sahara) is attached to direct. Neal Moritz will produce through his Sony-based Original Films banner.

Flash Gordon was turned into a 1980 film that starred Sam Jones. Hearst Corp.'s King Features Syndicate optioned the property to Universal four years ago, with The Mummy director Stephen Sommers and his partner Bob Ducsay to produce. Those rights reverted back to Hearst.

In the original incarnation of "Flash Gordon," the 1934 comicstrip created by Alex Raymond, Flash was a handsome polo player who is kidnapped and taken to the planet Mongo. He is pitted against an evil ruler named Ming the Merciless. Comicstrip became the basis of a successful movie serial in that era that starred Buster Crabbe, who later played Buck Rogers.

No production date has been set.