With the upcoming Power Rangers and Ghost in the Shell movies coming out over the next few weeks, one might want to take a look back to the ’70s and ’80s as a time when Asian productions were frequently brought to American shores.
One of the originators of that tradition was the cartoon Star Blazers, based on the Japanese anime Space Battleship Yamato.
The Star Blazers animated show only had three seasons that ran from 1979 to 1984, but it created an avid fanbase with the related toys, comic books and other iterations, all of which followed the adventures of the crew of the Argo, an old battleship turned into a starship that is used to fight against the forces of Gamilon, a distant planet that attacks earth sometime in the future.
The show’s fanbase has mainly been kept alive by constant reissues of the show on DVD until 2012 when it was revived with a new Japanese series called Space Battleship Yamato 2199, which was followed by a couple movies. (A new Japanese series is also currently in production.)
It’s been six years since it was announced that David Ellison’s Skydance Productions had gotten the rights to make a movie based on the show with Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation director Christopher McQuarrie writing an adaptation with plans to direct and co-produce, but we haven’t heard very much since then.
Earlier today, LRM had a chance to speak with Skydance Media CEO David Ellison, who produced next week’s sci-fi thriller Life (which is premiering tonight at the SXSW Film Festival), and this is what he told us about the project:
“We actually just hired Zach Dean to write the script, and we are working on it for it to be Christopher McQuarrieâ€™s next movie after Mission: Impossible. Chris has been working on the film for a long time. Itâ€™s something that weâ€™ve loved and been passionate about for years. This was something we originally went after seven years ago, and it took almost two years to get all of the rights to put together, which tells you how much we love it. The script is being written, literally, as we speak, and we want there to be a completed screenplay once Christopher McQuarrie finishes Mission: Impossible.”
That certainly sounds like good news for diehard fans of the anime and cartoon. For those who don’t know the name, Zach Dean wrote an independent crime-thriller called Deadfall, starring Eric Bana, Olivia Wilde and Charlie Hunnam, which played a couple festivals and was then released in 2012. He has a couple other projects in the pipeline, which we know very little about.
We’ll have more from Ellison on Life in the coming week, and when fans of Star Blazers hear what a sci-fi nerd he is, they’ll know their beloved anime is in good hands.