It’s not like I have to tell you this, but comic book movies have been all the rage lately, and studio shave been churning out every comic property they can find that comes with its own built in name recognition. However, now that Deadpool is breaking records, studios seem to be taking notice that audiences are in the mood for something different to go with their popcorn, but after the dismal box office of The Wachowski’s Speed Racer, Hollywood has been reluctant to delve into the world of Manga, that is, until now.
It has been just a little over a year since we first got wind one of Japan’s most popular Mangas could be getting the live action treatment here in the states. Astro Boy was originally tapped by Animal Logic Entertainment, the visual effects company behind Age Of Ultron and The Lego Movie. That no longer seems to be the case as reports are now saying that Warner Bros. New Line Cinema has scooped up the property and tapped Andre Fabrizio and Jeremy Passmore, screenwriters behind San Andreas. No word yet on who could direct and casting has not yet begun.
Astro Boy is a super robot created by Dr. Tenma after the death of his son. Tenma realizes that Astro Boy can’t replace his son and abandons him, leaving Astro to find his way in the world, all while discovering he has super powers. The original Manga started out in the early 1950’s and quickly became one of Manga’s most recognizable characters. The property then made the jump to Anime and several video games (one being a well received Game Boy Advance action platformer. I highly recommend this one, personally)
The original franchise was mainly targeted at a younger audience, but it seems that this go round will age the demographic up a bit. “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,” said producer Zareh Nalbandian last year. “We actually see him in the same league as an Iron Man.”
The last time we saw Astro Boy was in movie form in 2009, voiced by Bate’s Motel’s Freddy Highmore, but no one went to see it and critics didn’t care, so the fact that this will actually be a reboot probably won’t concern movie goers, and who knows, maybe they will give the character pants this time around.