Hollywood has never been shy, particularly in this young 21st century, of looking to decades past for ideas for big-budget, live-action features that (mostly) draw in huge crowds, with Transformers being one of the most successful examples.
Now we’re hearing word from Deadline of another well-loved animated series coming to the big-screen in live-action form – the anime series Star Blazers.
For those of you who don’t know, Star Blazers was an anime series first broadcast in the U.S. in 1979, based on the more elaborately named Japanese anime Space Battleship Yamato. Star Blazers was basically an edited (and some would say watered-down) version of Yamato with the voices re-dubbed and some new scenes thrown in. It is considered the first popular anime to have an overarching plot, which meant the series had to be shown in the correct episode order to be understood properly.
Not to be confused with the recent Japanese live-action version of the original Yamato series, this new Star Blazers movie is being set up by David Ellison’s Skydance Productions (True Grit, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol) which, if the company closes the deal, will hire screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie (The Usual Suspects, The Tourist) to pen the script. McQuarrie will also produce the adaptation alongside Ellison and Josh C. Kline.
Aside from the obvious worry about Hollywood doing a big-budget version of Star Blazers in the first place, you might be questioning why McQuarrie is the one being targeted as the screenwriter. It’s true that he doesn’t exactly have the experience suited to this type of “space opera” material (even the WWII film Valkyrie was more of a thriller than all-out action), particularly when a big-budget version is sure to (or at least should) have its fair share of epic space battles. However, McQuarrie may soon prove his worth in the big action genre as he’s written scripts for both The Wolverine and Jack the Giant Killer, both of which are in pre-production and due for release within the next couple of years.
Hollywood is leaving no stone unturned when it comes to the material it chooses to bring to life on the big-screen, so I guess it’s no real surprise Star Blazers is next in line. The project really can’t be judged until we start to see the usual pics and footage, but, as with any adaptation of a beloved property, Hollywood is going to incur the wrath of the fans if it doesn’t get the adaptation right.
More on Star Blazers (including when we can expect to see it in theaters) as news comes out.