EXCLUSIVE: Skydance Productions has set Christopher McQuarrie to write and direct Star Blazers, the live-action adaptation of the space-set 1970s anime TV series also known as Space Battleship Yamato. McQuarrie, Josh C. Kline, David Ellison and Dana Goldberg will produce, and Shouji Nizhizaki and Paul Schwake will be exec producers.
Skydance had set McQuarrie to write back when it acquired the series in 2011. 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. The intention is to hatch a franchise from a series that was ahead of its time, coming before Star Wars and Battlestar Galactica. It becomes another big-scale film for Skydance — which is coming off World War Z, Star Trek: Into Darkness and G.I. Joe: Retaliation — with Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit coming in January. Skydance is working with Paramount and Annapurna on the Terminator reboot, and is developing Geostorm, a global disaster film which Dean Devlin will direct from a script he wrote with Paul Guyot.
McQuarrie is repped by CAA, Key Creatives’ Ken Kamins and attorney David Fox.