Mike Hodges death: Flash Gordon and Get Carter director dies aged 90

Michael Caine collaborator died of heart failure

Isobel Lewis
Wednesday 21 December 2022 07:39 GMT
Flash Gordon trailer

Director Mike Hodges has died aged 90.

The filmmaker behind Get Carter and Flash Gordon died on Saturday (17 December) of heart failure at his home in Dorset.

His death was confirmed by producer Mike Kaplan, a friend and collaborator of Hodges’, who said he died of heart failure.

Born in Bristol in 1932, Hodges worked as a chartered accountant and in the Navy under national service before beginning a career in the screen industries.

His first media job was as a teleprompter operator and he quickly rose up the ranks in UK television.

He made his feature debut in 1971 with Get Carter, which he wrote and directed. Starring Michael Caine, it follows a London gangster who returns home to Newcastle after learning about the death of his brother.

Hodges initially wrote the role of Jack Carter for Ian Hendry and was surprised to learn that an actor as prominent as Caine would want to play such an unlikeable character.

Hodges with a friend at a screening of ‘Get Carter’ in 1971

He worked with Caine and producer Mike Clinger (the trio formed production company The Three Michaels) again on the 1972 comedy-thriller Pulp, which was followed in 1974 by The Terminal Man.

In 1980, Hodges directed the cult classic space opera Flash Gordon. He was the fourth choice to board the project, after rejection from George Lucas (which led to the creation of Star Wars), a version directed by Federico Fellini that was never made, and the exit of Nicolas Roeg in 1977.

He also directed music videos for Queen, including “Flash” from the Flash Gordon soundtrack and the 1982 song “Body Language”.

Hodges directed another number of TV shows and films across the 1980s and 1990s, the most recent being the 2001 TV documentary Murder by Numbers and film I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead in 2003.

He published a novel titled Watching the Wheels Come Off in 2009.

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