Finally, we have some good news for fans of live-action movies based on classic anime shows—and, therefore, we also probably have bad news for fans of classic anime shows. Not only is Deadline reporting that Warner Bros. has recommitted itself to finally making that Robotech movie it has been talking about forever, but The Hollywood Reporter says that Astro Boy will soon be getting another movie as well. If they threw in a Gundam or two, this would be like Christmas for live-action movies based on anime!
First up is Robotech. When we last reported on it, Warner Bros. had reportedly hired commercials director Nic Mathieu to take over the project. Nothing ever came of that, though, but Warner Bros. still thinks it would like to make this Robotech movie, so now it has hired 300 and G.I. Joe: The Rise Of Cobra writer Michael Gordon to write the script, and it apparently has its eyes on Mama‘s Andy Muschietti to direct. Robotech fans might be a little nervous about some of that, but let’s be honest with ourselves. As long as a Robotech movie has jets that turn into robots, it’ll be a success.
If the Robotech movie is just getting its robot feet in the air, though, the Astro Boy movie’s robot feet are still only blueprints. Australian animation studio Animal Logic has just signed a deal to develop a live-action Astro Boy movie, and that’s pretty much as far as it has gotten so far. Though Astro Boy stories are usually aimed at kids—the last movie certainly was—the filmmakers this time are planning to position him as more of a superhero, saying, “We actually see him in the same league as an Iron Man.” They also added that they want the character—who is basically Pinocchio with guns—to be “aspirational but not soft.”
For anyone who doesn’t know Animal Logic, it’s basically the biggest name in visual effects these days, having worked on The Great Gatsby, Happy Feet, Sucker Punch, and, coincidentally, 300. Oh, not to mention a couple of little-known films called The Lego Movie and Avengers: Age Of Ultron. So Astro Boy fans can at least take some solace in the fact that the movie will probably look pretty slick. Oh, and we’re aware that Astro Boy was a manga series before it was an anime, but mentioning that would require us to explain what manga is to our non-otaku readers, and we know somebody would get upset if we just called them “Japanese comic books.”