Chris McQuarrie to Direct Live-Action Version of ‘Star Blazers’

By October 30, 2013

Chris McQuarrie 2

Chris McQuarrie’s name doesn’t have the same level of recognition as many of Hollywood’s biggest filmmakers, but that could change very soon. Aside from being the Academy Award-winning screenwriter of The Usual Suspects, McQuarrie has also written Valkyrie, The Tourist, Tom Cruise’s upcoming actioner Edge of Tomorrow, The Way of the Gun and Jack Reacher (the latter two he also directed), and he’ll be directing Mission: Impossible 5 next. But we’re not entirely certain that his newest project is going to have the same impact on his career as the aforementioned films.

Deadline Hollywood reports that McQuarrie will write and direct a live-action version of Star Blazers, an American anime cartoon from the late 1970s that was adapted from the Japanese series “Space Battleship Yamato.” Buckle down for this plot description:

In the futuristic Star Blazers, Earth’s atmosphere has been obliterated by a distant alien race, and the survivors have one year before radiation will reach their underground refuge and wipe out the human race. The survivors get a shot of hope in the form of alien technology that can deliver a small crew across the universe and back with the means to stave off extinction.

Star Blazers anime

After doing a bit more reading about the series, this live-action feature sounds like it’s going to have a massive scope to it. That assumption is corroborated by the fact that Skydance Productions has come on board to finance and produce it, and that company pretty much only works with large-scale blockbuster films these days. But will a huge space opera based on an all-but-forgotten animated series land with modern audiences? Marvel has probably helped open audience’s minds to space movies in recent years (I’m thinking specifically of the Thor films after Green Lantern flopped for DC), so with the right casting, maybe McQuarrie can get the average moviegoer excited about this.

My only hope is that the opening credit theme song remains the same (excuse the terrible quality of this video):

Update: A friend just pointed out that the entire “Star Blazers” series is available on YouTube right now.

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Ben is a writer living in Los Angeles, California. His work has been featured at,,,, and many more sites across the web. Some of his favorite movies include The Rocketeer, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Tombstone, Lucky Number Slevin, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Collateral, Double Indemnity, Back to the Future and The Prestige. Follow him on Twitter: @BenPears.