The Hollywood live-action film adaptation of the hit 1970s anime series “Space Battleship Yamato” (aka. “Star Blazers”) has been a long time coming, mostly due to some thorny rights issues regarding the work.
In late 2012, filmmaker Christopher McQuarrie told Dark Horizons that after years of talks, the last few issues were being worked out regarding the rights to the property. At the time he said: “Yes, the longest rights negotiation of planet Earth. I think we’re very very close to finally… there’s one last piece in the chain that needs to be worked out and when that’s done I would immediately be able to start writing that.”
It sounds like that has happened as the Sports Nippon newspaper (via Anime News Network) reports that McQuarrie will shoot the project next once he wraps his work on the currently filming “Mission: Impossible 5”.
Skydance Productions and Voyager Entertainment are producing the project and the newspaper quotes McQuarrie, saying: “My favorite characters are Captain Juzo Okita (Abraham Avatar ) and Earth Defence Force’s Commander Hajime Saito (Webb Knox). I am extremely honored to be entrusted with a wonderful work such as this. I cannot wait to present it in (Yamato’s homeland) Japan. I’m looking forward to meeting everyone.”
The story of the English dubbed version entitled “Star Blazers” is set in a time when Earth’s atmosphere has been obliterated by a distant alien race. The survivors have one year before radiation will reach their underground refuge and wipe out what’s left of humanity.
Using a form of alien technology, a small crew is sent across the universe to secure a means to stave off extinction and restore the planet. The series was the first popular English-translated anime that had an overarching plot and storyline that required the episodes to be shown in order.
The paper adds the film version is targeting a 2017 or 2018 release under the title “Star Blazers”. Dana Goldberg, McQuarrie, and Josh Klein will serve as producers.