Alexandre Aja Talks About His Adaptation of the Space Opera Manga COBRA THE SPACE PIRATE

     January 19, 2011


Alexandre Aja is currently writing his next movie, a live-action 3D adaptation of Buichi Terasawa’s popular manga, Cobra the Space Pirate. The Piranha 3D director had already shared his enthusiasm about this project few months ago, and it really seems like a personal goal that he has set for himself. “Cobra is unique. Of all the animés I used to watch as a kid, it’s the most avant-garde, in both rhythm and imagination,” he told French site Cinemateaser.

Hit the jump to find out more.

Cobra, or Kobura, is a manga series written and illustrated by Buichi Terasawa, who apparently drew inspiration from French actor Jean-Paul Belmondo, famous for his action-adventure movies from the 60s and 70s. Cobra embarks on a series of adventures himself as he tries to escape his enemies. His tactics include surgically altering his face and erasing his own memory which he later regains. His arm? The Psycho Gun, a weapon that is connected to his brain. He also has a regular gun, just in case. His close confidante is Lady Armaroid, a mechanical cyborg with a really cool name.cobra_the_space_pirate_image_01

The manga originally appeared in the Japanese magazine Weekly Shōnen Jump between 1978 and 1984. It has already been adapted to television as well as the big screen in 1982’s Space Adventure Cobra. But Aja, inspired by his recent mainstream success with Piranha 3D, is aiming for a movie of overambitious blockbuster proportions and continues to compare it with Star Wars.

Considering the volume of material available, it will be quite an undertaking.

“The 25 mangas by Terasawa are incredibly rich. Its tone has no equal. This project is a huge challenge, because it’s going be a space opera. I envision it as a sort of Star Wars. I just have to convince all the financial partners now.”

It’s also fairly unknown in America. Maybe its sexy undertones will attract a larger American audience. And as Aja intends to stay as close to the original work as possible, the sexy bits will surely be depicted in the film.

“You have to respect the essence of Cobra. He’s an adventurer and a seducer. Its ‘sexiness’ has to be included in the film, just like its humor and adventure. My Cobra has to remain true to Terasawa’s universe.”

And hopefully to the expectations of the diehard French fans.

“There are so many Cobra fans in France that they’ll understand why I’m so passionate about this and why it’s so essential that I succeed in making this film.”

And he’s already thinking about who will portray Cobra.

“I have a lot of names in mind, but I can’t say anything right now. I’m still thinking about it.”

Who do you think should play Cobra and Lady Armaroid?

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