Tom Cruise Joins ‘Yukikaze’ Anime Adaptation – ‘Top Gun’ vs. Aliens

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Tom Cruise Yukikaze Movie Tom Cruise Joins Yukikaze Anime Adaptation   Top Gun vs. Aliens

Joseph Kosinski’s science fiction thriller Oblivion – his newest film after 2011’s Tron: Legacy – arrives in theaters this Friday, but that doesn’t mean leading man Tom Cruise is done working in the genre for the foreseeable future.

Cruise’s next project – an adaptation of Hiroshi Sakurazaka’s “light novel” All You Need Is Kill – began production this past fall to make its 2014 release date (and now looks to have great potential, thanks to the involvement of (Bourne IdentityDoug Liman and Looper star Emily Blunt). Even though that film is currently dominating his time, Cruise has already chosen his follow up project: Yukikaze, a live-action rendition of author Chohei Kambayashi’s book series.

Cruise recently signed on to star in the movie for Warner Bros. (the same studio behind All You Need Is Kill), for which Erwin Stoff and Tom Lassally will serve as producers. This won’t be the first time Kambayashi’s story has been translated into a visual medium; between 2002 and 2005, Bandai Visual and Gonzo adapted his work in five movies, two of which received the Tokyo Anime Award for Original Visual Animation in 2003 and 2006. Warner Bros. looks to be distilling Kambayashi’s work into a single picture at present, and no mention has been made of the film’s potential theatrical release date.

oblivion tom cruise 2 Tom Cruise Joins Yukikaze Anime Adaptation   Top Gun vs. Aliens

Tom Cruise in ‘Oblivion’

Yukikaze‘s plot unfolds in the 21st century, more than thirty years after the start of a war between humanity and an interloping alien race who invaded Earth  by using a dimensional portal over Antarctica. As the narrative begins, the defending force has repelled the aliens and taken the fight to their home planet through use of the same portal.

The title derives from the advanced tactical reconnaissance plane flown by the protagonist, Rei Fukai – most likely the character Cruise will be portraying in Warner Bros.’ film. Sounds very much like the sort of role he can thrive in, and the popularity of both the anime and Kambayashi’s novels make the whole endeavor sound pretty promising. Also, the fact that Yukikaze has the aesthetic design and feel of a futuristic Top Gun will probably be something that moviegoers take notice of.

Should the film go into production, it will mark the fifth (sixth if you count Vanilla Sky) sci-fi picture of Cruise’s filmography, and his third straight in the wake of Oblivion (which has already opened in UK theaters for our friends across the pond).  Certainly Cruise isn’t a stranger to the genre, but his sudden increased interest in sci-fi projects is worth taking note of; before Oblivion, his last foray into the genre was the 2005 film War of the Worlds. Cut to today, and it appears that Cruise can’t get enough science fiction in his life. (Also deserving of consideration is the fact that Yukikaze, like All You Need Is Kill, finds its basis in a Japanese property.)

Not that anyone’s complaining, of course – at least not at the moment – but that could change if Oblivion doesn’t enjoy the same success domestically that it’s receiving overseas. (Screen Rant’s review will go live at the end of the week; in the meantime, watch the trailer again.) We’ll keep you posted on more Yukikaze details as they become available – but what do you think about Cruise continuing to brand himself as a sci-fi fixture? Are you familiar with Yukikaze, and does Cruise’s presence in the film excite you? Sounds off in the comments!


Oblivion comes out in US theaters April 19th, 2013.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

Header Image by STVictoria @ DeviantArt

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  1. Not familar with Yukikaze but sounds very Macross, which is no bad thing as Macross is pretty awesome. (prefer Macross Plus to SDF Macross though)

    • I agree. I’ll take this while I continue to wait for a Macross live action movie (I really hope they leave out the music/love saves the day plot point). Doesn’t the plane in the first image look a lot like Isamu Dyson’s VF-11?

      • +1 Yup it sure does…

        Yeah the whole love/pop song from the SDF Macross was a bit week but Yoko Kanno’s score from Plus is awesome

    • I like “Macross Frontier”, but “Macross ..Do You Remember Love?” is a real classic.

    • Well, the anime had some intense air combat scenes that rivaled MACROSS. Luckily, the novel has been translated into English, so you can read it. The anime might be a bit hard to find, though.

      And while I love MACROSS, yeah, MACROSS PLUS blew me away.

      • i agree with U, mckenzie. the Yukikaze 5 episode collection is, indeed, hrd 2 find. i live in north texas where we have big lots stores & they had a few episodes but not all. and that was several years ago. i didnt even check at fryes electronics in dallas yet. just maybe, when this film is done & waiting release; they will all be available in bluray. hopefully!

  2. I wish they made a Gundam Movie!

    • I think Sunrise and BanDai are nervous about doing a live action Gundam movie, seeing as only Hollywood seems to have the clout in the budget department and handing it over to Hollywood could be a mistake. Besides, they have “Pacific Rim” now, and if that works the money is going to go all to the studio instead of the companies that hold the Gundam license.

    • It would be easy to make a live-action GUNDAM film (and one better than G-SAVIOUR from a couple of years ago) since TRANSFORMERS and PACIFIC RIM have shown that you can make a live-action giant robot film.

      Getting the rights to make such a film is going to be an uphill battle.

      • I think we should see how Pacific Rim is going to be, then Hollywood gonna proceed with it. The only problems are who’s gonna direct it , will Bandai and Sunrise let them do it and which story from the Gundam Universe(s) is going to be adapted?

    • @ Mario

      Check out Pacific Rim, gonna be as close as we’re gonna get for a while, even longer if it bombs so EVERYONE go see Pacific Rim we want more giant mecha action

  3. Tom Cruise and anime… I still want my Cowboy Bebop! If they do it right. Keanu Reeves is not Spike material!

    • Shh, don’t disturb that part of development hell. Perhaps the rights will expire and Fox will lose it to better hands…

  4. I’d like to see Ace Combat translated to Film

  5. Tom Cruise is the shrewdest actor working in the industry today, remaining on the Hollywood A-list for over 30years. He’s clever in this sense: in making this small cache of sci-fi films, knowing they will do well overseas, Cruise is financially driving success for his benefactors and to continue his relevance in the film market. A fine actor who thinks like the producer he is…and that much older actor he someday will be.

    OBLIVION only has to do well-enough in the U.S. or North America; the real ATM is foreign markets and DVD, where the bigger money can be made whereby sequels may be contemplated.

    The film may be cool…or suck…but it’s not about great movie reviews. It’s about money and market share.

    • Shrewd indeed. He’s figured out that people like him in sci-fi films, so he’s booking himself in sci-fi films until the cows come home. Frankly, I’d watch the guy in just about anything he cared to show up for, but I won’t hesitate to admit that I’m cool with the idea of him sticking with this genre for a while.

  6. This might start a new trend of Hollywood live-action adaptation of Sci-fi anime. Whether this is a good thing or not has yet to be decided, but I hope there will be a live-action adaptation of Berserk. Oh God, please make it happen…

    • A live-action adaptation of BERSERK would be great–but I wonder if it would be better to go the GAME OF THRONES route and make it a series instead of just one movie (or a trilogy)?

  7. I love the idea of Tom Cruise doing Sci-fi anime adaptation. It’s kinda weird though, to me, the Mission Impossible franchise is some what in the sci-fi territory with Super virus, wall climbing gloves, real time high-res projection w/ iris tracking capability…etc

  8. Yukikaze is great, but please no Tom Cruise. I just can’t seem to get past the fact that I’m watching a Tom Cruise movie. He is a good actor, but in an irrational way I just don’t want him near any anime/manga properties.

    • Well, with his name attached, at least the movie’s going forward. If anything, he could play the role of Booker (Bukhar in the anime); he was the commanding officer for the main character Rei.

      And I love the anime and the novel–the best thing about the story is that it’s a lot more than “plane porn” and thankfully is a different, refreshing take on the “man vs. aliens” trope.

      • Interesting thought- I guess I just assumed Cruise would end up in the lead. Seeing him in a supporting role would be interesting, though it sounds like Booker plays a pretty big part in the story. (Those who have seen it can confirm or deny.)

  9. YES! The Yukikaze anime series had some of the most innovative flight combat sequences I’ve ever seen. I hope they keep to the mechanical designs of the anime. I haven’t read the books, but the anime was a bit of a mind frak. I hope they keep that aspect in the movie. I like the idea of Cruise in the movie because it means someone with the checkbook is taking the project seriously.

    • That last sentence of yours is a really good point. Not that actors haven’t been attached to projects before that ended up going nowhere, but it’s a big step in the right direction as far as getting the film made, regardless of what anyone thinks about Cruise specifically.

      Incidentally, I do recommend the books; hopefully this development means Viz will translate and release the third/final one in English as well. The anime (which was five *episodes* incidentally, not movies, as I’m sure some folks know) was highly entertaining, but as always, some things were changed and some things were discarded outright in the adaptation process. I honestly don’t know which version I prefer, but both are really worth checking out.

  10. I find this kind of leans way too much on the past. The military is already moving away from manned fighter craft and in a few years it’s likely the role of manned fighters will be greatly reduced if not eliminated. I would think an AI of any kind would move the process along even faster. I could still foresee ground based control of some kind in the near future though, say the next 20 years maybe. Oversight will probably always be around…

    • Assuming you’re being earnest in your protestations… I recommend you seek out either the novels or the anime, since your post (unintentionally?) outlines one of the core plot elements of the Yukikaze story.

      • Yeah you’re right this particular Anime is unknown to me but look at it this way. If you don’t put the actor in the cockpit where’s the drama? If you do then where’s the technology? An AI linked to a human riding the plane is still going to be less effective due to the G-force that can be endured versus just having a machine on board. That forces the story to come up with some excuse, usually a lame one, to put the pilot back in the cockpit. I guess a good one is it’s too costly but so is a high tech war. In fact if one ever really got going it wouldn’t last very long, hours perhaps days at the most.

        Since Earth counterattacks in this story too then where’s the Nukes? It happens on another planet right? So no qualms in Nuking the invaders planet. The same is true though for the invaders, unless we get smart and put all our bases on top of all our coveted resources. Maybe the invaders use human shields, I don’t know, but I do know that I make any alien invasion story work real, real hard to convince me of its necessity.

        Any society that can use super technology can usually find an excuse to stay home and use the super technology to somehow fill their needs. Energy and most all the elements were produced by stars if you need them bad enough and you’re advanced enough you can squeeze them out of yours or another one and be benevolent in the process. If you must blow up the star system inhabited by a civilization then you bypass the civ. and go for the throat. So you don’t have to sink into some deep gravity well to get what you need. You take and keep the high ground of Outer Space.

        But just for a moment lets just imagine the aliens do need something terrestrial. Is an invasion a practical way to take over if you have the high ground? I don’t think so. There are too many ways to beat a civilization from the high ground without some conventional invasion. One is to just throw big rocks. Enough of them and your enemy will melt down. Another is to seed the planet with something that’s nearly undetectable but catastrophic. Another is to give the enemy a destructive toy that they just can’t handle but too tempting not to use. Each example has several variants like, do all of them nearly all at once, and an advanced civilization would have probably thought up some that no human could even imagine.

        The beauty of one of the original alien invasion stories is that it came from very close by, within our own solar system. At the time it was written it was still plausible to think in those terms. It was compelling because the evidence at the time was sketchy one way or the other. Now we know much more than we did when ‘War of The Worlds’ was first written. The facts are much harsher. Unimaginable distances, the constant life destroying radiation adventurers would have to endure, the sheer difficulty of finding anywhere worth going to. Oh we’ve found exoplanets ourselves but none like our jewel. The probable reason is it’s hard to detect ones in Goldilocks orbits. So it’s more likely that when one is found by either side, us or them, we or they will likely be pond scum, never there, or long gone, one way or another…

        • You have failed to realize that machines do not have human intuitions and the quick second decision to act upon ones training in combat. The japanese have a taboo related to nukes. We on Earth managed to defeat the JAM, the aliens of the show and then we invaded their planet. We wanted the planet all to ourselves and nuking it would do irreversible environmental harm. That and the JAM are a single entity like the borg. They are highly adept at electronic and informational warfare. That and the AI Yukikaze is the only thing that can determine JAM from human when the JAM start to mimic humans. I highly recommend you watch the show. You will not regret it.

          • Thanks, I’ll take your recommendations into consideration. 😉

            Be aware though that human intuition would not be taken out of the equation. We just put that on the ground somewhere safe. Surely you have played plenty and many types of war video games. I think this would fall into a scenario like that only imagine a AI system that supervises control of an attack system programmed with the best human experience in similar situations. Yeah they destroyed my plane but not my experience that I use to fight in another plane with a learning computer as well. If you couple that with a live pilot team able to input while viewing from a number of different directions and the AI database is rich enough, just look at the Jeopardy playing computer that beat the best human players featured recently on public TV, and you get a sense of what could be accomplished.

            I don’t think a response against an attack on our world can be said to be governed or would be by the sensibilities of a single country especially one that would be timid to use Nuclear weapons. Nuclear weapons of varying degrees are available for our defense as well. Including Neutron weapons and low yield tactical weapons that don’t have the long lasting widespread effect of the world smashing high yield weapons we got so much video exposure to during the cold war.

            When talking about this type of a war there is always the threat of “first use” that must be considered. Do we or the enemy execute such a plan and what does that do to the other sides willingness to continue a war that has went that far? Many scenarios were considered during the cold war and just the threat and the ability to deliver such a strike kept the world from going into another world war on several occasions. Being conscious that no one can win such a war keeps the peace. That’s one of the faults and solutions to any alien invasion. If you can strike where they live are capable and willing then it doesn’t make sense to start something that not only finishes them but you too! There is no defense against Nuclear weapons either it’s the unsolved problem of the modern age.

            • This reply might be a little late, but all the points you brought up are actually touched upon in the anime/novels, and actually all come together to give direction to the story. Your critique of alien invasion stories is quite well thought out!

  11. My friend and I saw Oblivion on our travels through Vietnam last Friday and we were both really surprised at how much we enjoyed it. Fans of sci-fi action should definitely check it out when it releases more internationally this Friday. You will be pleasantly surprised.

  12. a STEALTH movie but with aliens…interesting.

  13. MACROSS PLUS, MACROSS PLUS !!! My favorite of all the Robotech/macross series…and the score is definately Oscar material ! Would love to see that film adapted live.

  14. I have seen all 5 episodes and I greatly love the designs of the fighters. If I have one reservation, the designs of the fighters MUST be the same. Anyone wanna join me on a petition?

  15. Oblivion is really strange, I think it could be a moderate success. This might lead to a possible prequel in the future, one that shows the beginning of the war.

    Also is there going to be a live action version of Akira?

  16. I am really familiar with yukikaze. Have seen the animation series and currently i am reading the second book of this series. Be waiting for the last book to be translated into english.
    For all which do Not know the series. Yukikaze in her first form (ffr-31 mr/d) is similar to the russian sukhoi su-27. The second form revealed in the second Part of the animation series has no similarity to a plane i Know. I will See how is doing as my favourite character Rei fukai. Kind a cool but quiet young man

  17. Interesting but think he is too old to play Rei Fukai.

  18. Thanks for using my picture for Header Image:)