Jake Gyllenhaal and Flash Gordon Battle For Most Hauntingly Evil New Franchise

The uninspired recycling of played-out mediocrity received a sleek bit of Hollywood upscaling over the last 24 hours, with no less than Jake Gyllenhaal, Christian Bale and the money gang at Sony Pictures climbing on the remake/franchise gravy train with some of the most appalling anti-ideas we've heard around these parts since that Donnie Darko sequel went fungal just before Cannes. After the jump, find out which of these warmed-over properties — Prince Of Persia? Flash Gordon? Highlander? Terminators 4, 5 & 6? — drove us to break our "No Drinking Before 5pm On Weekdays" rule.

—Our bowels cramp enough at the thought of the live-action Prince of Persia: Sands of Time, based on the video game about a sixth-century prince who teams with bad-ass Princess Farah to defend the eponymous sands from the evil clutches of the Vizier. Then came the news that exotic Middle Eastern megastar Jake Gyllenhaal signed on as the title character, with new Bond girl Gemma Arterton joining as Farah and idea-allergic Jerry Bruckheimer producing. "It's not one of our smaller productions," Bruckheimer snickered when declining to specify the budget, allowing only that shooting during Gyllenhaal's weekly union work-stoppages on Nailed have helped streamline things immensely.

—Guess which of these horrible, horrible things is true about Sony Pictures' planned Flash Gordon revival: A) David Archuleta is reportedly in talks to inherit Queen's soundtrack duties from the 1980 film adaptation. B) Max Von Sydow will reprise his role as Ming the Merciless. C) Breck Eisner is slated to produce and direct. Then, once your choice sinks in, jump in front of the nearest oncoming bus.

—Christian Bale, whose roles in challenging fare like The Machinist, American Psycho and Rescue Dawn both stunned and endeared us over the years, has shat violently and perhaps irrevocably on our goodwill: When agreeing to the role of John Connor in the godforsaken, now-filming fourth installment of a Terminator franchise that died 16 years ago, Bale apparently acceded to another pair to follow. "Any time we're feeling pressure we just take a step back and say, as fans, 'What would we like to see?'" producer Victor Kubicek told the BBC, apparently forgetting that he also hired legally blind cultural parasite McG to direct the movies. We know what we'd like to see as fans, and it involves lost dailies and a plague of locusts.

—Further proof that not only is there a God, but also that He hates us: Variety today notes that Summit Entertainment is bringing back the Scottish swordsman adventure Highlander. "I have always dreamed of reinventing this franchise," fork-tongued Summit overlord Patrick Wachsberger cackled into his brimstone speakerphone. Production is slated for 2009, barring an actors strike and/or the Apocalypse.