J.J. Abrams Producing Samurai Jack Movie

According to longtime media executive Fred Seibert, former head of Hanna-Barbera and current head of Frederator films, Genndy Tartakovsky's popular animated show, Samurai Jack, is headed to the big screen with J.J. Abrams as a co-producer. The film, which is budgeted at $20 million, will combine  traditional 2D animation with stereoscopic 3D. It is being produced by Fredarator Films and Abrams' production company, Bad Robot Productions.

For those that don't recall the show, Samurai Jack was a four-time Emmy award winning animated series that ran on Cartoon Network from 2001 to 2004. Created by Genndy Tartakovsky, who was also the genius behind Dexter's Laboratory and Star Wars: Clone Wars, Samurai Jack revolved around, well...a samurai named Jack. Jack was a noble warrior who is cast into the future by the evil Aku, "the shape-shifting Master of Darkness." Each episode involved Jack's attempts to return to the past to defeat Aku once and for all.

If that plot summary sounded lame to you, then I'm afraid we can't be friends. Just kidding... sort of. Like Batman: The Animated Series before it, I believe Samurai Jack elevated animated action to another level. Spanning dozens of genres, from Spaghetti Western to Kung-Fu to cyberpunk, Samurai Jack was truly more than just a cartoon. Not only was the art superb, but the pacing and the plotting were downright cinematic. Sometimes, there would be whole episodes where Jack spoke fewer than five words and you'd be totally captivated. And, isn't that the goal of every animator? To tell a story completely visually?

Every time you sat down to watch Samurai Jack, you were treated to a level of sophistication that was truly unexpected, which is why the show still holds such a loyal following. Since I count myself among Jack's fans, I for one am very excited to see Samurai Jack hit the big screen. The fact that J.J. Abrams is on board (Seibert says Abrams is a "huge Jack fan") basically cinches it for me, since everything Abrams touches seems to turn to gold. Just for fun, check out the classic title sequence from Samurai Jack below.

What do you think? Would you go to the theater to see Samurai Jack: The Movie?

Source: Frederator Films Blog via FilmJunk

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