Live-Action 'Astro Boy' Coming from 'The LEGO Movie' Animators
The 1950s Japanese manga Astro Boy has seen several anime series adaptations in the 70s and 80s, but the only feature film version to make the big screen was the lackluster 2009 animated adaptation from Imagi Animation. Now it will be Australia's Animal Logic Entertainment, the studio who worked from beginning to end on the animation for The LEGO Movie and also contributed to special effects on The Avengers: Age of Ultron, teaming with Tezuka Productions in Japan to develop a live-action feature adaptation. But as of now there's no director attached to the project, and the writers still need to be found.
It's early days, so THR reports this new version of Astro Boy only has Animal Logic's Zareh Nalbandian attached as producer with Jason Lust as Executive Producer, and Ranger 7 Films' Mike Callaghan and Reuben Liber also executive producing. Since the last big screen outing for Astro Boy wasn't a hit in any capacity, this time, Animal Logic has high hopes for this iteration. Nalbandian says, "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.” That's a pretty tall order.
For those not familiar with Astro Boy, the story follows a robot boy created by a scientist as a replacement for the his own dead son. But when the scientist realizes the boy can't grow old like a real boy, he ends up with a new owner and a new mission: to fight evil, whether they're robots or humans, using some of his many superpowers. There's clearly potential here, but considering all the more popular comic book properties out there being turned into movies, I'm not sure there's much room for Astro Boy to thrive in the United States, but Animal Logic and Tezuka Productions are certainly going to try. Stay tuned.