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