An iconic character in manga/anime, and one of Japan’s closest equivalents to a superhero figure, is one step closer to getting the superhero treatment.
The Hollywood Reporter recently broke the news that New Line Cinema will now serve as the home for Animal Logic’s live-action film adaptation of Osamu Tezuka’s Astro Boy.
Furthermore, New Line tapped San Andreas writers Andre Fabrizio and Jeremy Passmore to pen the screenplay. Tonally, the film is planned as a four-quadrant adventure film with the aim of appealing to the superhero audience. The film will also make use of an ensemble cast of supporting characters and villains drawn from decades of source material in multiple mediums.
Animal Logic is producing with Ranger 7 Films and Tezuka Productions.
The basic story of Astro Boy revolves around the titular robot boy, created by a scientist in the image of his deceased son. Named Astro, the bionic boy decides to honor his creator by using his powers to protect the denizens of Metro City.
The last time Hollywood tried its hand at bringing Astro Boy to the big screen, the result was Summit Entertainment’s 2009 animated film; a box-office misfire that put Imagi Animation Studios out of business.
New Line’s involvement gives Animal Logic the added benefit of both major backing and a familiar helping hand, as Animal Logic has a strong working relationship with New Line’s parent company Warner Bros. Pictures.
As I noted at the top, Astro Boy is one of the few characters/properties in anime and manga that can be considered the Japanese equivalent of a superhero, and notably as long-lived (he was created in the late 1950s). Now, New Line Cinema and Animal Logic will have to answer the big question: can Astro Boy appeal to US audiences on the same level as any Marvel/DC character?
What do you think? In this era of superhero movies, would you like to see Astro Boy receive the same treatment?
Edited by: Hannah Wilkes