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October 31, 2013

Christopher McQuarrie to write/direct Star Blazers Live-Action Movie!

by Master Pillow

Pigs must be flying today as Skydance Productions announced that Christopher McQuarrie has been hired to write and direct the live-action adaptation of Star Blazers aka Space Battleship Yamato.  To say that this news came out of left field would be an understatement.  Actually, Skydance pegged McQuarrie to write the script a few years ago in 2011 but no solid news since then had been released until today.  Anime fans should be rejoicing right about now considering Star Blazers is one of the first Japanese series to make a huge mark on American television.

Still, there is also reason to dread since this isn’t the first time that an American-produced live-action adaptation has been announced.  Back in the 1990s it was, of all things, Disney which commissioned a script for a live-action Star Blazers, yet the resulting script was not green-lit to turn into a movie.

Looking back it is probably a good thing that it wasn’t made as the screenplay was, frankly, lousy as it basically re-made the show with the USS Arizona taking over from the Yamato while the characters felt incredibly different.  That script and/or treatment is still floating around the net somewhere if you want to see how awful it would have been.

Nevertheless, here’s hoping that McQuarrie manages to adapt this show correctly.  I doubt that he is going to script a verbatim copy of the series featuring the iconic Yamato as a floating space battleship as Hollywood execs will probably nix that idea in the bud.  Still, even if McQuarrie turns the ship into some generic Earth battleship the overall plot of humanity versus an overwhelming alien force is easy to adapt and plays on the David and Goliath fable that virtually everyone can relate to.

In the meantime, fans of the show can watch the Japanese live-action film released a few years ago or, even better, watch the new Yamato 2199 reboot that has just finished.  Yamato 2199 is a stellar retelling of the first season of the original show obviously with a few key narrative differences and amazing modern visuals.

Looking at the overall picture it really isn’t hard to see why Skydance Productions decided on a live-action Star Blazers considering that its filmography is littered with huge franchise flicks.  Some of their past titles working with Paramount Pictures include: GI Joe Retaliation, World War Z, the upcoming Terminator reboot, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, Jack Reacher and Star Trek Into Darkness.

If we take a closer look at their upcoming release schedule they’ve got the Terminator reboot penciled in for 2015 with the next Star Trek film probably dropping in 2016.  They’ve also got Mission Impossible 5 tentatively marked for release sometime in 2015 also directed by Christopher McQuarrie which obviously brings up the question as to when the Star Blazers movie will arrive in cinemas.  If McQuarrie does helm Mission Impossible 5 it would probably mean that the earliest that Star Blazers could open would probably be late 2016 or early 2017.

In the meantime, here’s the opening to Yamato 2199 featuring the now iconic theme song sung in Japanese.

And here is the good old English opening to the original Star Blazers for comparison.

© 2013 The Galactic Pillow

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