WWII Warships… in Space! — ’70s Anime ‘Star Blazers’ Is Getting a Movie

Star BlazersVoyager Entertainment via Everett Collection

The next big thing in sci-fi might be the perplexing sight of a World War II-era battleship hurtling through the endless vacuum of space. As ridiculous as that sounds, Skydance Productions has tapped Christopher McQuarrie to write and direct Star Blazers, an American live-action adaptation of the classic ’70s Japanese anime series Space Battleship Yamato. The original anime series was translated for American television audiences under the name Star Blazers, but this will be the first time the series will get the American big screen treatment.

In Star Blazers, a future Earth comes under attack from an alien menace that destroys the Earth’s atmosphere, forcing humanity to burrow underground to survive. A crew is tasked with blasting into space in a battleship retro-fitted with alien technology in order to retrieve a piece of alien technology that will revive the Earth’s ecosystem and save the human race.

Skydance Productions is hoping that Star Blazers becomes the next massive franchise hit. Director and writer McQuarrie has a fair amount of action films under his belt, but nothing as large scale or just downright kooky as a flying warship from the 1940’s. McQuarrie has written screenplays for Jack Reacher (which he also directed), The Tourist, Jack the Giant Slayer, and most notably, The Usual Suspects. Hopefully his flair for screenwriting will help us buy into the ridiculous idea that throwing a battleship into space is humanity’s best option in an alien attack.