Universal and Chris Meledandri Bringing Manga 'Pluto' to Life
Adaptations of popular manga are already headed to the big screen with WB's upcoming productions of favorites like Akira and Bleach. Now Deadline reports Universal and Illumination Entertainment's Chris Meledandri (producer of Despicable Me and former Fox Animation exec) will are jumping into the game with a live-action/CG hybrid adaptation of Pluto. The popular Japanese manga series is based on Osamu Tezuka's Astro Boy, but writer Naoki Urasawa reinterprets the story as a suspenseful murder mystery starring Gesicht, a Europol robot detective trying to solve the case of a string of robot and human deaths.
Meledandri has been taking the animation world by storm after Despicable Me was a surprise hit at the box office this past summer. In addition to Pluto, the animation producer is also working an adaptation of Dr. Seuss' The Lorax and Tim Burton's stop-motion take on The Addams Family. Hopefully this adaptation of Pluto fares a little better than the computer animated adaptation of Astro Boy which just couldn't find an audience here in the states. Meledandri is certainly excited as he says, "With Pluto, Naoki Urasawa has defined an imaginative world full of inventive action and adventure but it was his characters and heartfelt story that compelled me towards acquiring these rights." Any Pluto fans like the sound of this?