When we interviewed Piranha 3D director Alexandre Aja at Comic-Con, he talked about a film he was developing based on the Japanese manga Cobra the Space Pirate. It’s clearly a passion project for the French filmmaker, who remarked “We grew up watching the TV animation of it, so it’s like Star Wars for us. We love that.”
It looks like Aja has finalized the necessary rights deals, as he’ll soon begin work on the script, with dreams of a 3D sci-fi space opera in mind. To hear what he had to say about his plans for the film, as well as some background on the source material, hit the jump.
Here’s a brief outline of the series:
The series follows the adventures of Cobra who lived an ordinary life until enemies started to hunt him down. Cobra surgically alters his face, and erases his own memory to hide from his enemies. Cobra starts to regain his memories and then unites with his old partner Lady Armaroid and his ship Tortuga. Later in his adventures, Cobra meets the Royal sisters whose map-tattoos lead to treasure.
The Cobra manga has also spawned nine sequel series… [and] later served as the basis for a feature-length film adaptation, a 31-episode anime series that retells the film’s story, and two original video animations. [Wikipedia]
Being a generally ignorant American, I have never heard of Cobra before now. But to hear Aja tell it, the television series in particular was huge in Europe. Like, Star Wars huge. He lamented that such popularity crossed the Atlantic to Deadline:
“I grew up dreaming about Cobra. My day was, finish school, run home and switch on the TV and I was hardly the only one. Kids did it in France, Italy, Spain, all over Western Europe. For many people there is Star Wars and nothing else, but for me and my writing partner Gregory, there is Star Wars and Cobra. I am so surprised it never crossed the ocean and made the same impact in the U.S., because it is so big everywhere else. There are 60 books, a lot of TV animation and so many adventures, pirates and bad guys that it is perfect to be reinvented into a really cool space opera adventure franchise for a new generation.”
Clearly, he’s keen on Cobra. Aja spoke a bit on how he plans to craft a space adventure for this “new generation”:
“It should be in 3D, science fiction and 3D are a good mix. I’ll start work on the script soon, but I have been carrying this inside me for thirty years and we are talking to the creature designers of films like Avatar and Star Trek, building a new world and doing it the right way.”
This all sounds great to me. Any international Collider readers want to chime in on Aja’s suitability for the job?