Sunday, October 24, 2010

Universal/ Illumination Entertainment to adapt Nao Urasawa's "Pluto" to the screen

by Chris MaGee

The work of manga artist Nao Urasawa was introduced to millions of Japanese film lover's through Yukihiko Tsutsumi's adaptation of Urasawa's "20th Century Boys". Not only was Tsutsumi's trilogy about a group of childhood friends going up against a totalitarian government in a dystopian future on of the most expensive Japanese films to hit the screen, but the three films combined were also one of the top money-makers of the past half-decade.

Now Anime News Network is reporting that Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment, the same folks who brought us this year's CG-animated comedy "Despicable Me", have picked up the rights to adapt Nao Urasawa's 204 manga "Pluto" into an animated film. "Pluto" is a darker, grittier re-imagining of Osamu Tezuka's world famous creation "Astro Boy" and follows a cybernetic boy through his adventures in a near future world.

Thus far neither Universal nor Illumination have announced a director, voice talent or release date for "Pluto", but Illumination CEO Chris Meledandri has publicly expressed his excitement about bringing Urasawa's manga to the screen: "Naoki Urasawa has defined an imaginative world full of inventive action and adventure but it was his characters and heartfelt story that compelled me towards acquiring these rights." Now, let's just hope that this re-imagining of "Astro Boy" does better than Imagi Animation's disastrous 2009 CG-animated "Astro Boy".

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