Before the The Avengers‘ Vision, before A.I.’s David, and before Star Trek: The Next Generation‘s David, there was another robot who sought to be human: Astro Boy. Osamu Tezuka’s brainchild — known in his native Japan as “Mighty Atom” — rose to fame in a manga, published throughout the ’50s and ’60s, and the first seminal anime series, launched in 1963. But although the Pinocchio-inspired Astro went on to feature in subsequent comics and cartoons, including a rebooted series, video games, and a CG-animated film, he has, strangely enough, never been portrayed in live action. Until now.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Animal Logic Entertainment, the Australian studio that’s contributed special effects to films ranging from Happy Feet to Avengers: Age of Ultron, is teaming up with Tezuka Productions to create a live-action Astro Boy film. Animal Logic’s Zareh Nalbandian is producing, with executive producer Jason Lust, who has also been attached to Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio. Nalbandian states, “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. We actually see him in the same league as an Iron Man… We want to make it aspirational but not soft.”
The original Astro Boy comics were indeed just as cool, if not cooler than the original Iron Man comics, having the benefit of the godfather of manga and anime, Tezuka himself, writing and illustrating his signature character. The uninitiated are strongly advised to check them out.
As for my fellow longtime Astro Boy fans, what do you think? Is it high time that the Mighty Atom starred in a live-action movie? Let us know below!