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Feature FilmVFX

Animal Logic And New Line Team Up For ‘Astro Boy’ Reboot

Animal Logic, the Australian animation/vfx studio responsible for The Lego Movie, is moving forward on a vfx-heavy live-action reboot of Osamu Tezuka’s Astro Boy, which first debuted as a manga 64 years ago.

New Line announced today via Hollywood Reporter that it is negotiating to pick up the rights to the film, and has also hired Andre Fabrizio and Jeremy Passmore (San Andreas) to write a script. The film will be produced by Animal Logic Entertainment, Tezuka Productions, and Ranger 7 Films.

Animal Logic announced a major expansion last May, with plans to build a 300-person facility in Vancouver, Canada, to produce three animated features for Warner Bros. The company’s 500-person Sydney, Australia studio is currently working on LEGO Batman and Ninjago, both due for release in 2017.

A $65 million Astro Boy CG-animated feature arrived in theaters in 2009 from the Hong Kong studio Imagi, which previously had been a producer of artificial Christmas trees. Its weak $41 million global gross accelerated Imagi’s demise as a feature film maker.

More recently, French animation studio Caribara Animation announced a reboot of Tezuka’s android boy for television in a 26 half-hour 2D/CG hybrid series.

  • Joey Gallagher

    I thought Illumination had the Astro Boy rights what with their plans to adapt Pluto.

  • AmidAmidi

    Weak analogy. You’re comparing an animation studio that was started for the purpose of making animated features and was poorly managed from the start, to Animal Logic, which was a 24-year history of producing vfx and animated films, and has a broad foundation of other work to support itself.

    • MaskedManAICN

      I’m pretty sure this is Animal Logic’s first animation feature, everything else they have done was contract work (someone else was paying the bills). And Square Soft had produced successful video games, with cgi animation for years, before attempting their first feature. So I don’t think I’m too far off.

      So they are/were both relative nubes, setting up a studio away from home with grand plans for it. I just hope Animal Logic is better prepared for a rough going that Square Soft was.

      • AmidAmidi

        Sorry dude, you really don’t understand what you’re talking about. I’m only calling you out because I don’t want others to be misled by your apples-to-oranges comparison.

        • Doconnor

          Having experience creating a movie script is what was/is missing for Square, Animal Logic and other VFX houses who have tried to make their own movie. Despite its lack of respect, the script is the most important factor in making a good movie.

  • bobbyflavor

    “…on a vfx-heavy live-action reboot..”

    Nope. Tapping out.

    • BurntToShreds

      I’m with you on this. I would have thought that after Dragonball Evolution, the Japanese rights-holders would just say no to this stuff.

  • Inkan1969

    Is this another attempt to “westernize” the franchise? That “Astro Boy” CGI movie from a few years did try to show a “westernized” version of the franchise in terms of characterizations and sensibilities, and the film bombed because it seemed so wrongheaded.

    • I hated every minute of it on the big screen when I saw it back then. It just felt like someone swept a lot of Tezuka under the rug to get it through.

  • So the question remains: will it be better or worse than the 2009 version? It shouldn’t be that high of a bar to reach for.

    • Well, if it stays true to Tezuka’s works (and borrow elements from his others, like Metropolis), then we have nothing to worry…..

      • Otakon

        If it stays true to such works, it won’t have any animation at all.

  • Mister Twister

    A reboot of a reboot of a reboot of a reboot.

  • marti386

    I’ve got all the original black & white Astro Boy’s Ultra Collection on DVD from Right Stuf. I don’t need any others.

    • You can always check out the 1980’s color version Tezuka produced, which tend to feature more of the sort of stories he wanted to tell before, often putting Astro in the pacifist role.

  • Martin Cohen

    That picture makes me think of Mighty Mouse.