Skydance Productions is in the process of acquiring the rights to the 1970s anime Star Blazers (aka Space Battleship Yamato). According to Deadline, Skydance head David Ellison will hire Christopher McQuarrie (Valkyrie) to pen the script. For those unfamiliar with Star Blazers, the story centers on an old spaceship in the year 2199 that must go to another planet and pick up a device that can save the Earth, which has been under seige from hostile aliens using radioactive warfare. The anime was adapted in Japan and released last year, but obviously this new version would be in English. David Ellison, who is the brother of Paul Thomas Anderson savior Megan Ellison, struck up a relationship with McQuarrie over Top Gun 2.
Ellison and Skydance Productions are setting up to be a major player at Paramount. Not only has their backing of True Grit led to a box office smash, they’re also co-financing Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, the Jack Ryan reboot, Top Gun 2, My Mother’s Curse, License to Steal (a Shane Salerno script about high-end repo agents), and an untitled Charlize Theron comedy. He’s also developing the comic The Strange Case of Hyde, but that currently doesn’t have a studio.
In the age of Twitter, Facebook and instant info, it’s very rare for me to be surprised by a film in development. I think the last movie that come out of nowhere was Cloverfield. So when I was emailed a link to the first footage from a live action Space Battleship Yamato (Star Blazers) movie, I thought it was an April Fool’s joke.
But it wasn’t. More after the jump:
You can’t keep a good battleship down. As our partners at Omelete are reporting, 26 years after Final Yamato was released, a new chapter is finally being written in one of the most popular space operas ever to come out of Japan. On December 12, Space Battleship Yamato: Rebirth will premiere in Japan. Released in America as Star Blazers, the Space Battleship Yamato saga began in 1974 out of a collaboration between Yoshinobu Nishizaki and Leiji Matsumoto. The film has been in pre-production as far back as 1992 but was cast into development hell following a lengthy copyright lawsuit between Matsumoto (he of Galaxy Express and Daft Punk fame) and Nishizaki. Nishizaki’s arrest and incarceration on drug and weapons charges did not help matters either. And you thought Gene Roddenberry had street cred. In any event, the copyright lawsuit was eventually settled in Nishizaki’s favor in 2004, he was released from prison in 2007 and now audiences can finally find out what happened to our heroes (and heroines) following the defeat of the Deingili and the subsequent detonation of the Yamato in the last movie. Hit the jump for more details as well as the Japanese trailers.