Director Shinji Aramaki’s (Appleseed) upcoming remake of Space Pirate Captain Harlock may be entirely computer generated, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t stunning to look at, or any less epic than it’s Hollywood counterparts. Most of what we’ve seen so far has centered on the intense, deep space action, but this new, three-minute long trailer takes a different approach, focusing on character and story, and introducing us to as yet unseen elements of the narrative.
Don’t worry, there is still plenty of kickass action for you to sink your teeth into, but this video wants you know that there are other pieces to the movie, as well. You start out watching the quieter, more dramatic side of the story. We’ve met Captain Harlock (Shun Oguri) already, but this time out we’re introduced to a man named Yama (Haruma Miura). This is by far the biggest reveal of the trailer, as Yama is apparently a young man tasked with the gargantuan job of assassinating the titular captain. From what we see here, he’s definitely conflicted about performing his duties.
Based on Leiji Matsumoto’s Manga, which ran from 1977 to 1979, Space Pirate Captain Harlock is the story of the captain, and the crew of his ship the Arcadia. That’s the badass one with the big chrome skull on front. Tell me that wouldn’t be terrifying to see emerge from a space cloud at full ramming speed. Earth’s government has become inept and flaccid, and that apathy places the citizens of the planet. With the safety of the world in mind, Harlock rebels, and takes to deep space to do battle with Earth’s enemies. Harutoshi Fukui (Mobile Suit Gundam) has taken the themes and subject matter of the original material, and tweaked it to reflect more modern concerns and ideas.
This won’t be the Space Pirate’s first adaptation, either. The Manga was the basis for a television anime series that appeared from 1978 through 1979, as well as sequels, but the scale was definitely something different. Aramaki’s latest version has a budget of $30 million. While this doesn’t sound like much when you compare it to even a modest Hollywood bankroll, it’s huge for this style of project. In fact, this represents the most money Toei Animation has spent on a movie to date.
Given the history of the brand, and the size and scale of the production, you can bet that there is a high level of public anticipation for Space Pirate Captain Harlock. The film opens in Japan on September 7. There’s no word when the rest of the world may get to witness the spectacle, GFM Films, a London-based film sales firm, has been putting together an international version. So, hopefully, we won’t have to wait too long.