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Piranha 3D's Aja Gets Space Adventure Cobra Film Rights

posted on by Egan Loo
Buichi Terasawa's pulp sci-fi manga already inspired TV, film, video anime projects

Alexander Aja, the director of this Friday's Piranha 3D film and The Hills Have Eyes film remake (2006), told the Deadline movie news website that he acquired the film rights to Buichi Terasawa's Space Adventure Cobra manga. The manga follows the pulp science-fiction escapades of a rogue pirate and his female android partner.

Aja is a native of France, where Space Adventure Cobra is a well-known manga and anime. Aja told Deadline, "I grew up dreaming about Cobra. My day was, finish school, run home, and switch on the TV, and I was hardly the only one. Kids did it in France, Italy, Spain, all over Western Europe. For many people there is Star Wars and nothing else, but for me and my writing partner Gregory, there is Star Wars and Cobra."

Aja and Gregory Levasseur (Aja's High Tension, The Hills Have Eyes) are not only writing the script, but also producing the project with Marc Sessego and Alexandra Milchan. Aja wants to adapt the story as a tentpole-sized live-action franchise in 3D, and he is in talks with financiers and creature designers. (A "tentpole" franchise is a property which will, in theory, support a studio financially for much of a particular movie season.) The Mainichi Shimbun paper's Mantan Web section reported in 2008 that Terasawa said that he had received an offer for a live-action Hollywood film adaptation of his manga — but he added, "This is off-the-record, though."

Cobra began in Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump magazine in 1978 and was already adapted into an animated television series and film in 1982. A video anime project, Cobra The Animation: The Psychogun, launched in Japan in 2008. A second two-volume project, Cobra The Animation: Time Drive, followed in 2009, and a new Cobra The Animation television series aired earlier this year. Besides Cobra, Terasawa also created the Goku: Midnight Eye and Kabuto manga, along with their respective anime adaptations.

Urban Vision released the 1982 Space Adventure Cobra movie in North America. Crunchyroll began streaming the two anime video projects in several countries last December, and it simulcasted the new television series as it aired this year.

[Via The Wrap]

Update: More background information added.

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