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Astro Boy heads to Hollywood with live-action film

Classic manga leaving Japan behind

A new Astro Boy film is in the works, according to The Hollywood Reporter. New Line Cinema is reportedly buying the rights to the influential superhero franchise with plans to develop it into a live-action project.

While development on the film is in its earliest stages, the Warner Bros. subsidiary has signed on San Andreas writers Andre Fabrizio and Jeremy Passmore to helm the script. This take on Astro Boy is also said to appeal to a broader demographic beyond its usual child audience.

Animal Logic Entertainment, which worked on The Lego Movie, will co-produce the feature with Ranger 7 Films and Tezuka Productions. Although The Hollywood Reporter explicitly refers to the film as a live-action project, the animation-heavy filmographies of its producers suggest there will be some animated component.

Astro Boy has appeared in a variety of media since his 1952 debut. First starring in Osamu Tezuka's manga and subsequent anime series, the shirtless crime-fighting android has gone on to feature in video games — like fan favorite Astro Boy: Omega Factor on Game Boy Advance — and additional cartoons.

Most recently, Summit Entertainment released a CGI-animated film based on the character in 2009; that take on Astro Boy, an American/Hong Kong co-production, was a critical and commercial disappointment and earned $39.9 million over the course of its run.

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