Friday, March 20, 2009

Bill Nighy Talks Astro

The Japan Times has an interview with British actor Bill Nighy, who is promoting the film "Valkyrie" for its Japanese release. Of course, Mr. Nighy is also a cast member of the upcoming CG animated Astro Boy movie from Imagi, and will be preforming the part of Dr. Elefun (Ochanomizu). Here is a segment from the interview of about his involvement in the film.

Possibly Nighy's best-known role internationally is as the pirate captain Davy Jones in two of the "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies. For Nighy, though, such high-profile Hollywood forays into "foreign" territory are by no means over yet.

That's because, in October, 2009, Columbia Pictures (a unit of Sony Entertainment) will release the movie version of Japan's boy hero, Astroboy, in what's currently titled "Metro City."

A reported combination of animation and live action, the film will feature Freddie Highmore as the voice of Astroboy, who debuted in a 1951 comic strip by "father of manga" Osamu Tezuka. Then, in 1963, a Japanese TV cartoon version enjoyed international success, and Astroboy was brought back in the 1980s — by then as an anime (Japanese animation) icon — and also in 2003.

After that, Sony paid a hefty fee for the right to make a film of the story of the boy robot who was created to replace a scientist's son who was killed in a car accident. Like any comic strip superhero, Astroboy spends his time fighting bad guys, mostly other robots and also aliens from outer space.

How did Nighy get involved in this unusual project?

"Sometimes I ask myself the same question. You absolutely cannot plan your career in the movies. If you try, you'll be constantly frustrated. But every now and then, someone comes knocking on your door, not literally, but you receive an offer for a project — the Astroboy, 'Valkyrie' — and you have to wonder. And you're thankful, because it turns out to be something rather stupendous."

However, the actor is barred, along with the rest of the cast, from giving away hardly anything about the Astroboy project. But he did say: "This film isn't just for children, although most of them will be delighted by it. I think adults will have a very good time watching this, according to what I've seen of it, whether or not they view it with a child in attendance."
I think there may be some mistakes in this article. Sony was once attached to an Astro Boy movie, but to my knowledge is not involved in either the production of this film nor its distribution in Japan. And I haven't heard anything about the film being called "Metro City" anywhere, so I don't put much stock in that. Despite these errors on the part of the original writer, It's a decent interview with a great actor, and I'm really looking forward to hearing what the good Doctor sounds like!

You can read the entire article on The Japan Times Online.


Unknown said...

Nighy is a class act, all the way. Loved him in Valkyrie.