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Alexandre Aja, who is unleashing Piranha 3D into the world tonight at midnight, has had a decent career until now. Nothing great, but nothing terrible either. Bursting onto the scene in 2003 with High Tension, a gorgeous movie with a terrible ending, the director has put together a horror-filled resume since then, but is looking for something that will allow him to spread his wings. Enter Cobra: The Space Pirate.

Deadline is reporting that Aja has landed rights to the Cobra franchise, originating in Manga form and sweeping Western Europe in the 80s as an animated television series. Aja has been chasing the rights for quite some time, but now that he has them he’s already busy finding money for the film as well as creature designers, so expect to start hearing more about this very soon.

The best part about this story is that although he’s never really blown us out of the water with his movies, he speaks so passionately about Cobra that it’s hard to not get excited to see what the long-time fan of the series will do with the franchise:

“I grew up dreaming about Cobra. My day was, finish school, run home and switch on the TV and I was hardly the only one. Kids did it in France, Italy, Spain, all over Western Europe. For many people there is Star Wars and nothing else, but for me and my writing partner Gregory, there is Star Wars and Cobra. I am so surprised it never crossed the ocean and made the same impact in the U.S., because it is so big everywhere else. There are 60 books, a lot of TV animation and so many adventures, pirates and bad guys that it is perfect to be reinvented into a really cool space opera adventure franchise for a new generation.”

I love when a director lands a project that has been a dream for them for years. It’s reminiscent of how Peter Jackson spoke of King Kong, which I liked but realize that I’m a minority.

While we wait for more on this, here’s a brief run down of the series, which spans over 60 books (wow!)

The series follows the adventures of Cobra who lived an ordinary life until enemies started to hunt him down. Cobra surgically alters his face, and erases his own memory to hide from his enemies. Cobra starts to regain his memories and then unites with his old partner Lady Armaroid and his ship Tortuga. Later in his adventures, Cobra meets the Royal sisters whose map-tattoos lead to treasure.

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