‘Piranha 3D’s’ Alex Aja to Adapt ‘Cobra – The Space Pirate’

French director and writing partner bringing Buichi Terasawa’s Japanese manga comic to the big screen

French filmmaker Alexandre Aja has "Piranha 3D" swimming into theaters this weekend, but the director already has his eye on his next project — an adaptation of Buichi Terasawa's Japanese manga comic "Cobra – The Space Pirate" reports Deadline.

The story is set in a future where merchant spaceships and ruthless brigands sail across space. Cobra is a notorious rogue pirate who has a massive bounty on his head. In order to keep his identity secret and avoid capture, Cobra teams up with a sexy bounty hunter named Jane, who is desperate to find her sisters and decipher a map tattooed on their backs ("Waterworld" anyone?) that leads to a lost treasure on Mars.

Aja grew up with Cobra as a child, and is said to have regarded the character on par with other influential movie heroes such as Indiana Jones and Han Solo from "Star Wars."

Aja courted Terasawa for the rights to the manga for some time, and plans to turn the space saga into a big-budget, live-action sci-fi/fantasy franchise that could be developed as a 3D tentpole.

He will work on the script with writing partner Gregory Levasseur, and the two of them will produce with Marc Sessego and Alexandra Milchan.

Terasawa's 60-book franchise was previously adapted as an animated series that was popular throughout Europe.

Aja told Deadline that he has approached the creature designers of "Avatar" and "Star Trek" about realizing his vision for the epic adventure.

Aja previously directed the horror trio "High Tension," "The Hills Have Eyes" and "Mirrors." He is represented by WME and Industry Entertainment.