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Classic cartoon Astro Boy to get the live action big screen treatment

02.04.2015

After a failed feature film in 2009, it seemed like we would never see ASTRO BOY grace the silver screen in the United States again. But, thanks to Australian special effects company Animal Logic, we may get a second look at the Japanese manga character and this time in live action.

Partnering with Japan’s Tezuka Productions, Animal Logic will begin developing the project despite not having a writer or director attached. A search is currently underway for a writer which means we could see this develop pretty quickly. If you aren't familiar with Animal Logic, join the club. They have not yet developed a live action film of their own but have worked on the effects in films like HAPPY FEET and AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON.

ASTRO BOY, if you are unfamiliar, tells the story of a scientist named Dr. Tenma who builds a robot replica of his deceased son. If that sounds a bit like Pinocchio, you are not wrong. Creator Osamu Tezuka created the character in the 1950s which has gone on to become one of the most lasting characters in Japanese pop culture, spawning animated series, toys, live action serials, and more. The 2009 animated movie featured the voices of Freddie Highmore, Nathan Lane, Kristen Bell, and Nicolas Cage. It failed to ignite popularity in the character, but the live action film's producer Zareh Nalbandian has high expectations.

“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.”

ASTRO BOY, if it pulls the right cast and filmmaker, could easily be a family friendly superhero epic with a lot of potential. The key would be to stay true to the Japanese source material and not differ too much from that formula while still modernizing it. Hopefully this gets some traction and we see the movie hit screens in the near future.

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