Live-Action ‘Astro Boy’ Film In Development

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[dropcap size=small]P[/dropcap]opular Japanese manga Astro Boy is the lastest cartoon getting the live-action treatment on the big screen.

Australia’s Animal Logic Entertainment has partnered with Japan’s Tezuka Productions to develop a feature film adaptation of the iconic character.

A director has yet to be attached to the film, but producers are beginning the search for writers to pen the script.

You may not be familiar with the Animal Logic name, but you are familiar with their work. The company is known primarily for its groundbreaking special effects work on films like Happy Feet and the upcoming Avengers: Age of Ultron. As of 2007, Animal Logic has begun compiling development projects consisting of live-action, hybrid, and special-effects heavy projects, such as a Betty Boop feature.

A 1960's cartoon show was one of the many iterations of the character.
A 1960’s cartoon show was one of the many iterations of the character.

Astro Boy began as a 1950s Japanese Manga by Osamu Tezuka, who is often heralded as Japan’s Walt Disney. That alone should be a testament to the character’s popularity in the country. Much like Disney’s Mickey Mouse, Astro Boy ran for decades in comics, newspaper strips, and several anime series that gained popularity around the world. In 2009, an Astro Boy animated feature was released with Freddie Highmore (The Theory of Everything) voicing the titular character.

Astro (also known as Mighty Atom) is a robot boy created by Dr. Boynton as a replacement for his dead son. Think of it as a robotic Pinocchio, and you’ve pretty much got the Astro Boy story. However, unlike the singing and dancing puppet, after Astro ends up with a new owner he takes on a new mission as well: To fight evil using his many awesome superpowers.

Despite the fact that the Astro Boy cartoon targeted younger audiences, Animal Logic aims to have their crack at the property feel more like a comic book action movie aimed at appealing to the modern movie-goer. Animal Logic producer Zareh Nalbandian explains:

[dropcap size=small][/dropcap]We’ve seen him as a manga, an anime and an animated movie but we’ve never seen him as a live-action movie or him as a superhero. We actually see him in the same league as an Iron Man.”

Those are some big metal boots to fill, Astro. Biiiiig metal boots.

 

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