J.J. Abrams' Bad Robot is Bringing Samurai Jack to the Big Screen?

November 24, 2009
Source: Frederator Films

Samurai Jack

Yea, you read that right. Hidden in an article on the Frederator Films blog (via Screen Rant) was an update about a Samurai Jack movie in development. But it might not be exactly what you're thinking. Years ago, New Line Cinema picked up the rights to Jack to make both an animated movie and a live-action movie, but that all fell apart. Now apparently the rights have ended up in the hands of none other than J.J. Abrams who is developing a feature animated movie that will combine traditional 2D animation with stereoscopic 3D. Sorry, it's not live-action. It's not in production yet, but it does sound like this one will actually happen.

The news comes hidden in a post written by Fred Seibert, former head of Hanna-Barbera and current head of Frederator Films, where he reports that Frederator had been granted the rights to an animated movie "as long as we agreed that Genndy would be intimately involved." Genndy Tartakovsky being the creator of Samurai Jack. So he had lunch with Genndy and got him on-board. "Here was the chance to finish what he'd started, and reclaim a special set of characters he'd created." The deals took forever to close, but in the end they got J.J. Abrams, a "huge Jack fan", to help co-produce via his Bad Robot along with Bryan Burk.

For those that don't know, Samurai Jack was an incredibly popular cartoon series that showed on Cartoon Network from 2001 to 2004. The plots of individual episodes range from dark and epic to light-hearted and comic, but typically follow Jack in his singular quest to find a method of traveling back in time. Many of the battle scenes in the series are reminiscent of samurai films, and since Jack's robotic enemies "bleed" oil or electricity and monsters/aliens bleed slime or goo, the series is able to exhibit the action of these films while avoiding censorship for violence. It's all very early, but this should be exciting news for Samurai Jack fans.

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  • ME
    OMG!!! Awesome yo!!!!!
  • TediusTed
    If they really do keep with the Genndy Tartakovsky original vision I'm keen, thank CHRIST its not live action
  • a friend told me about this a year ago. I was sworn to secrecy (NY animation industry is so small). They finally let the cat out of the bag. Cant wait!!
  • samuel j
    awesome cant wait
  • Wow ....Now that is what I call... great news 😉
  • Dan the Fan
    Incredible. As it sounds, things are on the right path to make one kick ass film. +1 on the no-live action. This needs to be animated all the way. It's too bad the show was cut short but it sidetracked from the storyline a bit and needed to end. It was written with a beginning/middle/end but never got there. Oh well, this is its time. Bring on the samurai. For those unfamiliar with him, suggested episodes are: 1, 11, 18, and 25 (imho)
  • AAA
    HOLY AWESOME!!! This is the best news i've read in, well i think my entire life. Samurai Jack basically changed my life: the way i watch cartoons, samurai films, and most other screen "things." The best part of this whole thing - Genndy is involved. Couldn't handle it if that wasn't the case. Thank you God!!
  • Xerxex
    cast an unknown!
  • Rorschach90
    Lol nice job stealing the plot description from Wiki, Alex
  • Spider94
    yes samurai jack! been waiting for this 4ever and now its here! =D awesome tv show.if anyone hasn't seen the show yet watch it now! and thank god its not live action or it would have turned to crap
  • sean
    This is how things should be from now on. Or at least happen much more often. The original creators need to always be "intimately involved." That's the only way to achieve the best results.
  • Mark
    Thank god it's going to be animated!
  • SlashBeast
    #11 - sean Creators beign involved doesn't mean shit. It has just as much likelihood of turning out crap. Also, this is awesome!
  • wHiskey Tango…
    As Long as Genndy is involved and Phil Lamarr comes back to do the voice I'm all over it!! I love all of Genndy's work. Is he still doing the Dark Crystal 2?
  • wHiskey Tango…
    Oh and #6 is so spot on! 18 & 25 are so EPIC. They epitomize the essence of the show.
  • Akira Toriyama was Executive Producer for Dragon Ball Evolution and they loophole'd him out of his contract because he didn't like all the "creative" decisions Fox was making and was trying to get them to keep it true to the original, yet they still gave him credit. Just because they're getting the original creator in the beginning doesn't mean they'll keep him until the end.
  • Mark
    #16, Good point. Same thing happened with Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. Hironobu Sakaguchi is credited as the director, but he was shoved out as soon as the bulk of the production went to the American studios. The Animation Director, Andy Jones, was the real director... kind of. That film was really headless, actually. No one can really be credited as the director from start to finish.
  • K
    #16 and #17 - I think Star Trek is a shining example of the fact that J.J. Abrams can be trusted.
  • Fisherr
    Finally i will see Jack's Rebirth, i don't care if it's live action or not as long it has a decent director involved with the project so i don't mind although he might not be directing but still. Good to have Jack back...
  • Governor
    JJ Abrams is like a zombie. He pursues things to eat their brains.
  • I loved Samurai Jack and have been re-watching the old series, personally I think Robert Zemeckis should do a mo-cap 3d version, that would be amazing! ha ha. Just kidding. It would be good to see what they could do with the 3d and the original Samurai Jack style.
  • Angry Chief
    Literally finished the series about twenty minutes ago! Ah, nostalgia... If it is like the show, then BADASS. As long as they get all the same voice actors.
  • Mike D
    I love Samurai Jack! And after J.J.'s Star Trek reboot I can honestly say this would be at the top of my must see list. Can't Wait!
  • Karl
    it's a shame Mako is not around to do the voice of Aku(RIP). one of the best animation series ever. very important to get as much of the original talent as possible. watch the commentary on the dvd's and it is apparent that it was a team effort. the length of the movie would be important. I could watch it for hours but some might have trouble with the minimal dialog. J.J. has my trust after seeing Star Trek.
  • xerxex
    #9 was it really that important to call him out?
  • Kubaker1
    well, #25 the other day He called Himself A Fanboy, and Fanboys (No offense, alex) watch Cartoons No matter how Old They are.
  • FekketCantenel
    I actually had an excitement seizure after glancing at the headline, then another after reading it, then another after reading the full article. This movie is long-overdue and will hopefully be made as wonderfully as the series. I wouldn't mind either animated or live-action; I just can't wait to see a conclusion to all this. #24: Ouch, good point. Who could ever replace Mako?
  • RPD
    If Star Trek weren't enough to prove his awesome now there's Samurai Jack...
  • David Banner
    Really good news that an animated feature is in the works. Live-Action-LOL, what moran came up with that idea? Maybe they could continue the story? It sorta just stopped, didnt it? As if it was cancelled, with no roundup?
  • David Banner
    moron* guess I sorta stepped in that one :)
  • The_Kid
    AS long as they majke sure to bring back Phil Lamarr as the voice of Jack, I'm good. I love the fact that J.J. Abrams is producing this. He's at the top of his game right now, and since he's a fan of the show he will make sure this isn't crap.
  • SlashBeast
    Being a fan doesn't mean shit. Check out the Dungeons and Dragons movie, the director was a complete fan, the movie was shit.
  • Governor
    Abrams eat brains!
  • dats awsum i use 2 watch wen i was a kid all da time!! 😛
  • xerxex
    #26, Kubaker1 I guess...I love catroons.
  • xerxex
  • Keem
    Samurai Jack is the G.O.A.T. I cant wait for this to get done. Jack is #2 on the list right behind Thundercats!
  • PorrigeOats
    Yay for stumbleupon! I wonder who will voice Aku now that the original voice actor is deceased. Nobody springs to mind, though he'll probably be a yank (no offence to the states, but your accent doesn't exactly scream evil).
  • Cool. So, who is doing the voice for Aku? Greg Baldwin or Corey Burton.
  • pricetag
    they should get mark hamil. he is good at doing evil voices and was fire lord ozai in avatar the last airbender.
  • Jacob
    I hope they can get Phil Lamar to do the voice of jack. Oh and having The Scotsman come and help Jack fight Aku would be pretty badass. At least it would be to me haha
  • Nathan4q
    any updates on this yet??
  • Nathan
    COME ON!! this needs to happen!!!! has there been any recent updates on this?? is this still gonna happen?? PLEASE!!?!??!?!




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