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Manga and anime creator Leiji Matsumoto (Space Pirate Captain Harlock, Space Battleship Yamato) revealed in an interview with the Starblazers.com website and Otaku USA magazine that a live-action version of his science-fiction manga Galaxy Express 999 is in development now. In portions of the interview posted last week, he added that his new project, Zero Desigze, will be an anime released this year.
According to Matsumoto, one of the difficulties in the proposed live-action Galaxy Express 999 project is finding an actor to play Captain Harlock. Galaxy Express 999 features appearances by Captain Harlock, Emeraldas, and various characters from Matsumoto's other stories.
Matsumoto also indicated that Zero Desigze will probably be released on home video first, although it could be shown on television. The producers revealed last year that Matsumoto was working with Isao Yasuda on Zero Desigze, and the World of Leiji Matsumoto exhibit in Tokyo presented designs from the project in October.
Starblazers.com posted part of Matsumoto's interview online, and Otaku USA will publish more of the interview in its May/June issue. The Japanese studio Toei Animation revealed last March that it was planning a computer-animated version of Space Pirate Captain Harlock, and it showed a pilot video during Tokyo International Anime Fair later that month. A live-action film remake of Space Battleship Yamato opened in Japan last December.
Thanks to Daniel Zelter for the news tip.