Director Alexandre Aja Is No Longer Working on Live-Action Cobra Film
posted on by Karen Ressler
Director Alexandre Aja (Horns, The Hills Have Eyes, Piranha 3D) said on the "Post Mortem with Mick Garris" podcast last month that he is no longer working on the planned live-action adaptation of Buichi Terasawa's manga series Space Adventure Cobra.
When Garris asked if Space Adventure Cobra would be his next film, Aja said no, but it "was a dream project" for him because he grew up watching the anime. Aja explained that the film was "pretty deep into preproduction" at Lionsgate before a regime change, and the new staff did not believe in the new film, as the budget was high at US$130 million.
He said the staff had found a way to continue to work on the film, albeit delayed, but then Guardians of the Galaxy come out in 2014. Guardians of the Galaxy, Aja said, was "pretty much the twin of Cobra." Aja implied that this and the following year's Star Wars: The Force Awakens were factors that ended the project.
In 2011, Paris-based film production and distribution firms Onyx and Studio 37 announced their plan to produce the Cobra film with a budget of more than US$100 million for a tentative summer 2013 release. Staff included producers Aton Soumache and Dimitri Rassom, co-producers Alexandra Milchan and Gregory Levasseur, and executive producers Marc Sessego and Andree Cornier. The staff revealed a teaser image (pictured right) in 2011.
Aja said in 2015 that the staff were still making progress, but that deciding the cast was difficult. At the time, Aja was still attached to direct and produce, and the film had been based on his own script, co-written with Levasseur.
Terasawa's Cobra manga began in Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump magazine in 1978 and was adapted into an animated television series and film in 1982. NTT Solmare put the manga on Apple's iTunes App Store in English in 2010.
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 in 2010.