Lionsgate Reportedly Shelves 'Cobra' Live-Action Feature

It looks like one Hollywood studio is pumping the brakes on one anime adaptation. Thanks to a new interview, fans learned Lionsgate has put its live-action take on Space Adventure Cobra on the shelf, and its director is spilling the beans on why the project was halted.

Recently, Alexandre Aja sat down with Post Mortem with Mick Garris to talk about his current slate of work. The director, who oversaw Horns and The Hills Have Eyes, told the podcast that he is no longer working on Space Adventure Cobra for Lionsgate.

As reported by Anime News Network, Aja admitted he was gutted to see the movie be pushed to the side since it was a “dream project” of his. The director said he grew up watching the anime as a kid, and Aja said it was pretty deep into pre-production before it was shelved. However, the movie fell apart at Lionsgate when the studio shook up its power structure, and its new executives didn’t believe in the project. Its lofty $130 million budget did not help either, and Buichi Terasawa saw his series shelved as such.

According to Aja, his team did find a way for Space Adventure Cobra to move forward at Lionsgate on a delay, but it was derailed by Guardians of the Galaxy. The heralded Marvel Studios flick was said to be the “twin” of what Aja’s film would be. The director also said the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens also threatened his film, and Aja is under the impression the project has been benched for good.

If you are not familiar with the manga, then you should know Space Adventure Cobra is a hugely popular title. The series debuted back in November 1978 under Weekly Shonen Jump. Terasawa saw the title jump in popularity soon after its debut, and it remains one of Shueisha’s top-selling manga series to date. Its story has been described as a mix of Star Wars and James Bond, a fact that shone through in its debut anime adaptation.

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At its core, Space Adventure Cobra is a sci-fi romp as it takes place in a future world where a man named Johnson takes up the name Cobra in a dream world created by the Trip Movie Corporation. The fast-paced series follows Cobra as he lives an adventurous life but hits a snag when he gets a mild case of amnesia.

Do you wish Lionsgate had given this live-action adaptation another chance? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to talk all things comics, k-pop, and anime!