Astro Boy cuts hair at Comic-Con plus Viz Media to lens Naruto, Death Note, Inuyasha and other Manga-based films

AstroboyImagi Studios and Summit Entertainment will be at Comic-Con in San Diego at booth #3530, introducing its upcoming CG-animated motion picture Astro Boy. The film’s director, David Bowers and producer, Maryann Garger will be attending the event on Saturday, July 26, and be stationed at the studios’ booth.

A special-edition Astro Boy oversized bag will also be distributed to anime fans on a limited basis throughout the event also. You can visit the Imagi booth between 11 AM and 4 PM on Saturday, July 26, for an “Astro Boy Hair Makeover”. Fans will  be transformed by getting the superhero’s iconic, black pointed “do”.
Slated for worldwide theatrical release in 2009, Astro Boy will feature the voices of Academy Award-winner Nicolas Cage, Donald Sutherland, Bill Nighy, Nathan Lane and Eugene Levy, along with Freddie Highmore in the title role. Bowers (Shark Tale) is directing from a script by Timothy Harris.
For the uninitiated, Astro Boy was created by “god of manga” Osamu Tezuka, in the early 1950s. The iconic character has since found wide popularity around the world as the hero of three acclaimed animated television series spanning four decades.

Set in futuristic Metro City, the film revolves around a young robot created by a brilliant scientist, with incredible powers. Our hero embarks on a journey in search of adventure in a netherworld of robot gladiators before returning to save Metro City. Astro Boy is the second CG-animated feature from Imagi, following on the success of its 2007 box office hit, TMNT.

In other Anime news, Variety reports that VIZ Media, which publishes Japanese Manga and graphic novels, has formed a production arm to help bring its huge content library to the big screen.

Based in Hollywood and called VIZ Productions, the studio will be run by Jason Hoffs, a former production exec at Amblin and DreamWorks.

This is big kitties. Some of their titles include Naruto, Bleach, Death Note, Inuyasha and Naoki Urasawa’s Monster.

Properties like Naruto, Bleach, Death Note, Vampire Knight and Monster are just a few properties that show the massive appeal of manga to many different demographics, and we have an almost endless pool of titles to draw from,

Hoffs said.

Film Fetish Trivia: Imagi’s first theatrical movie, TMNT was released in March 2007, opening #1 in U.S. box office revenue. That’s only the third time in history that an Asian-made film has achieved the honor.