Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Will there be Astro Boy 2?

A new article has appeared on The Hollywood Reporter that speculates on what the potential success of the Astro Boy movie may bring. Namely a revitalized Imagi studio, which had some well publicized struggles during production, and a possible Astro Boy sequel.

Of course, there's pretty much no basis in fact on if a sequel is anything more than just a twinkle in someone's eye at this point. It will take awhile before a decision is made. But if the film is a major success, and all the parties involved can come together and form an agreement again, it's pretty much a given in this day and age that there would be another one. With so much material to work with (Atlas, Pluto, Nuka), it'd be a shame if there wasn't a sequel. Or two. Or three!

You can read "Imagi hitches rocket to 'Astro Boy'" on The Hollywood Reporter or by clicking the link below for an archived version. Just try not to get too excited. Yet.

Imagi hitches rocket to 'Astro Boy'
Success of animated film could give house new life, sequel

By Patrick Frater

Oct 10, 2009, 02:04 PM ET

BUSAN -- “Astro Boy II” could soon be in the works if all goes well with this week’s release of the animated superhero movie “Astro Boy.” That would also spell a new lease on life for its production house Imagi and could redefine the concept of co-production in Asia.

The fully CGI-animated movie about a heroic boy robot is based on a 1956 manga and the 1964 Japanese anime series “Tetsuwan Atom: Uchu No Yusha.” It boasts an American director, David Bowers, and was made at Imagi’s production “pipeline” in Hong Kong on a budget of some $65 million. Last month it was also accepted by China's Film Bureau as an official Chinese co-production making it eligible for import outside the quotas and open to release in China as a local film.

The pic was released this week in Hong Kong and Saturday in Japan. Over the next fortnight it will roll out across much of the Asia-Pacific region. The China debut is set for Oct. 23, the same day as it begins a wide release through Summit Entertainment in North America.

Initial reactions from the Tokyo premiere Monday suggest that the careful modernization of the Atom character has kept the film true to the original concept and acceptable to the millions of Japanese who watched the TV series. Meanwhile, for Americans and international audiences beyond Asia, the film appears to be American, or at least fashioned in the same way as a Pixar original. That’s because Imagi’s unique modus operandi is to hire former Disney and DreamWorks Animation creatives in the U.S. who originate the script and storyboard before turning it over to the company’s 500 multi-cultural animators in Hong Kong.

“Astro Boy” boasts Freddie Highmore as the boy robot and Nicolas Cage leading an all-star adult voice cast that also includes Samuel L. Jackson, Charlize Theron and Bill Nighy. Fast food-giant McDonald’s also boarded as a marketing partner when Summit committed to give it a 3,000-screen release.

Like many superhero tales, “Astro Boy” could end up bringing new life to a floundering parent.

Imagi enjoyed a U.S. No. 1 slot with 2007’s “TMNT” but flirted with disaster over the two following years. First, a studio-level distribution deal collapsed. Then would-be corporate investors backed out, forcing accountants to warn that the company did not have enough money to deliver “Astro Boy” and “Gatchaman,” an all 3-D cartoon that is the next picture on Imagi’s slate.

Channeling their money through Hong Kong’s Winnington investment house, new backers from China succeeded in arranging a $25 million bank loan, launching a $12 million rights issue and a $13 million placing.

En route, Imagi dropped “Tusker,” an elephant tale that it had plucked from turnaround at DreamWorks, and is now focused on the search for a hero concept of Chinese origin. Plans are afoot for the Hong Kong pipeline to deliver one film per year on the scale of “TMNT” and “Astro Boy,” and for the company to also set up a second production facility on the Chinese mainland.


Anonymous said...

If they do do a sequel one person they have got to add is zoran(astro boyslittle sister seen in the 2003 anime series) she is soo cute and shows the ability to talk to animals and understand their languages, befriending a bird who she names Houdini. She has a rather excitable personality, but at times envies Astro for the amount of attention he receives and is overemotional at times too, but she also looks up to and protects her brother

Anonymous said...

That wouldnt make any sense to throw in another robot child. Even if she is from the actual series, Tenma would need a good reason for making her. Astro wouldn't get lonely; he has his junk-yard friends, and since MetroCity crashed to the surface, they'll probably start the show off with them repairing old, abused bots. Tenma created Astro out of grief for his real son, sp throwing "the daughter he'll never have" into the mix will only complicate the story.

This news about an Astro Boy 2, however...could end up to be a terrible movie, like Fox And The Hound 2. Or like Toy Story 2 was. But then they made a 3rd Toy Story and it was better than the first and second put together- very impressive movie...

In my opinion, most sequels are very unpredictable and too plot-focused. They become too predictable that you can almost quote it even though you've never seen it before.

>.< I'm not complaining, I'm just preparing myself in case the movie is never made, or it ends up being garabage.

Anonymous said...

they should replace zoran with a little brother
i mean they already changed some stuff it wont hurt if anyone has anything to add ill check in once a day

zombikat said...

well, I'm thinking that if they make a second movie, they should at least replace or remove a few characters. Maybe fix "trashcan" or have a little less focus on the president, I mean, some of this stuff doesn't even relate to the t.v. show. None of it does! I'm not trying to be the television critic, but they should at least add something scary, the first movie was.....um...kind of....bland. -zombikat

Mang said...

they should carry on from where the first film finished and merge Metro City with the surface city people

Young said...

I quite liked the movie Astro Boy, but if I were the director, I really can't think of a good story. I do agree to Mang, but really, truthfully, is there anything more to talk about?
I really do not agree to the sister thing, but no offense.