Just as the world is gearing up for Ant-Man and Avengers: Age of Ultron, a new superhero is arriving on the live-action scene. Manga phenomenon Astro Boy is coming to life.
Animal Logic Entertainment and Japan’s Tezuka Productions will be teaming up to develop a live-action, sci-fi superhero feature film based on Osamu Tezuka’s comic book franchise. Known in Japan as Mighty Atom, Astro Boy is a robot boy that was created as a replacement son by a scientist, Dr. Tenma, after his own son passed away. Once he realized Astro Boy couldn’t cure his loss, Dr. Tenma gave him away, which led Astro Boy to find a new owner, realize that he had superpowers, and eventually become the greatest hero of his time.
Zareh Nalbandian and Jason Lust of Animal Logic Entertainment will be producing and executive producing the film, respectively. Mike Callaghan and Reuben Liber from Ranger 7 films will also be joining as executive producers.
The last time Astro Boy was a part of Hollywood was in 2009, when Imagi Animation released an animated feature with Freddie Highmore voicing the superhero. According to Box Office Mojo, it only grossed $39 million worldwide, losing approximately $26 million because of a $65 million budget. Despite the flop six years ago, Nalbandian has high hopes for the live-action remake.
“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,” he said. “We actually see him in the same league as an Iron Man.”
No director has been pegged as of yet, but the producers are on the hunt for writers.