December 31, 2009

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In the age of Twitter, Facebook and instant info, it’s very rare for me to be surprised by a film in development.  I think the last movie that come out of nowhere was Cloverfield.  So when I was emailed a link to the first footage from a live action Space Battleship Yamato (Star Blazers) movie, I thought it was an April Fool’s joke.

But it wasn’t. More after the jump:

Star Blazers image (8).jpgIt ends up Toho in Japan have made an estimated 2 billion yen (about $20 million USD) movie based on the 70’s cartoon.  While I don’t know exactly how close it’s going to follow the original storyline of the cartoon, here’s wiki’s summary of the first season:

The plot opens in the year 2199, with planet Earth facing extinction within one year due to radioactive pollution caused by Gamilon planet bombs. A message arrives from Queen Starsha, of planet Iscandar, providing Earth with plans to build a superluminal engine and the promise that, if Earthlings can reach Iscandar, enduring what obstacles the Gamilons might put in their way, the Queen will give them a machine — the Cosmo DNA — that can neutralize the deadly radioactivity. But can the Star Force travel 148,000 light-years and back in just one Earth year? Not if the Gamilons can stop them.

According to the film’s wikipedia page, the movie is going to use this storyline, but perhaps changes have been made to tell the story in a two hour film.  Also, the cartoon took place in 2199 and the film is set in 2220.

If you grew up with Star Blazers or ever watched the cartoon, you will not believe this footage.  And if you never saw the show, as someone wrote on Wikipedia:

Star Blazers was the first popular English-translated anime that had an over-arching plot and storyline that required the episodes to be shown in order. It dealt with somewhat more mature themes than other productions aimed at the same target audience at the time. As a result, it paved the way for future arc-based, plot-driven anime translations.

This was the show that got America started on anime.

Space Battleship Yamato will be released in December 2010 in Japan and and it’s been directed by Takashi Yamazaki.. No word on a domestic distributor.  Expect plenty of updates on this film as I get them.

Here’s the original opening to the 70’s cartoon

Thanks to Nippon Cinema (via Quiet Earth)for this.

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