Originally created by Japanese manga artist Osamu Tezuka in 1952, Astro Boy had his humble beginnings in a series of comic books that ran until 1968, and followed a basic narrative that echoed the same thematic elements of Pinocchio, wherein a bereaved father and scientist creates an artificial intelligence in an effort to resurrect his deceased son – and the robot child subsequently finds a new guardian and begins using his superhuman powers to fight evil. The original manga gave birth to two animated series in the 1970s and 1980s, and popularized the now ubiquitous anime animation style and genre.
Years after the mixed reception received by the American-made animated feature film reboot of the property from 2009, news emerged that the Australian-based film studio Animal Logic Entertainment is looking to make a new live-action take on the Astro Boy franchise. A new update on the matter reveals that the project has found its lead screenwriters and chief distributor.
According to THR, New Line plans to distribute the live-action adventure movie, and in-house script writers Andre Fabrizio and Jeremy Passmore will pen the Astro Boy film screenplay. Currently being pitched as a more mature and adult take on the fairly childish trappings of the outstanding property, Animal Logic, Ranger 7 Films, and Japanese firm Tezuka Productions are all looking to produce the new Astro Boy movie together.
Following what was an essentially lukewarm reception to the last feature film starring the original Japanese manga character, Animal Logic will have a task ahead of them – if they hope to breathe life into a property as (arguably) dated and foreign to modern audiences as the original Astro Boy manga and anime series are. But given the studio’s work in the past on the hit animated feature The LEGO Movie, and following screenwriters Fabrizio and Passmore’s monetary success with last summer’s San Andreas, perhaps producing another Astro Boy movie is just what the studio should be doing next – provided it results in further professional and creative growth.
Tezuka was often regarded as the Japanese equivalent of Walt Disney, and the work that he gave birth to in the multiple iterations of his robot boy character stand as a testament to the durability of his magnum opus. Whether or not Animal Logic and New Line will be finally able to pull off recasting Astro Boy in the light of twenty-first century sensibilities remains to be seen – though fans of the franchise can undoubtedly anticipate seeing the new movie sometime in the near future.
Screen Rant will bring you more information on Astro Boy as it becomes available.