While Skydance and Christopher McQuarrie are busy with M:I6 Mission Impossible at Paramount, David Ellison’s company is trying to move forward with Star Blazers, the live-action adaptation of the space-set 1970s anime TV series also known as Space Battleship Yamato. Ellison, in SXSW to do press for the Daniel Espinosa-directed Life, told online site LRM that Skydance has hired Zach Dean to write a new draft of the script as a potential directing followup for McQuarrie post M:I6. Deadline revealed Ellison’s deal for the property in 2011, and McQuarrie’s allegiance to the project back in 2013. Back then, Ellison was producing with Josh C. Kline, and Dana Goldberg with Shouji Nizhizaki and Paul Schwake as exec producers.

Dean is separately writing the Bill Graham movie for Shawn Levy to direct at Fox, and also scripted the WWII drama Atlantic Wall for Imperative Entertainment, with Bradley Cooper attached to star and Gavin O’Connor to direct. Skydance previously bought his pitch Ghost Draft for David Goyer and Madhouse to produce. Dean’s Warner Bros. project Voyagers, about Carl Sagan, made the Black List. He’s repped by WME, Madhouse and attorney Andrew Hurwitz.

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.