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Updates on Adaptations of Voltron, Cowboy Bebop, Imagi Astro Boy

Logo handmade by Bannister Column by Scott Green
During a press event for "The Private Lives of Pippa Lee," Keanu Reeves updated MTV on the status of the live action adaptation of anime sci-fi western Cowboy Bebop. Reeves is to play Bebop's protagonist, Spike Spiegel. "There's a draft of the script, but the writer did such a great job [that] in order to make the movie, you would need half a billion dollars." ... However, Reeves indicated that the writer's adherence to the galaxy-spanning adventure of the full entire series might prove a little daunting for production. "So the studio went, 'This movie is fantastic and it would cost half a billion dollars," laughed Reeves, "so he's doing a rewrite." ... "The only challenge was to make a satisfying western narrative out of the kind of storytelling that happens," he added. "There's a great draft, so we're just trying to pull it back a little bit now." The 26 episode Sunrise tv series and BONES movie followed a hard luck cadre of bounty hunters in the waning days of wild west period of solar system wide colonization: haunted but slick ex-gangster Spike Spiegel, grizzled veteran ex-cop Jet Black, gambler/femme fatale Faye Valentine, incorrigible hacker Ed, and data dog Ein. Combining artful homages to Western media, inventive direction from Shinichiro Watanabe and eclectic music from Yoko Kanno, Cowboy Bebop won over many fans when it was released on DVD by Bandai Entertainment and aired on Adult Swim. According to Hollywood Reporter a law suit has been filed in Los Angeles Superior Court relating already contentious adaptation of combining giant robot Voltron. Indie producers James Young, Ford Oelman and Mark Costa of banners Animus Films and NHO Entertainment allege that St. Louis-based World Events, which holds rights to the television property, and its partner Kickstart Prods. negotiated illegally with other producers during what the producers say was an exclusive period. "World Events secretly conspired with Jason Netter and Kickstart Entertainment to find investors and make the movie without NHO and Animus during the terms of the exclusive deal," the suit says. The plaintiffs are suing for breach of contract, fraud and interference with contractual relations, and are seeking various forms of damages. World Events and Kickstart responded with the statement "this lawsuit is frivolous and without merit, and we will defend ourselves vigorously," adding "fortunately, these baseless claims do not in any way encumber the film or any other Voltron project, and we are excited to proceed on the long-awaited Voltron feature film with our partner Atlas."
Back in July, Hollywood Reporter's Risky Business blog has delved into the efforts to kickstart the live action of combining giant robot Voltron. ImageAtlas Entertainment’s Charles Roven, Richard Suckle and Steve Alexander, the producers behind "Get Smart" and "The International" (and Roven of course also produced "The Dark Knight) have acquired the rights to make a live-action feature based on the robot-lion property, pushing the project forward after several years in development with the Mark Gordon Company. Live action Voltron hit some legal trouble last year. According to Anime News Network, World Events Productions (WEP) attempted to serve Toei Animation with a law suit concerning the live action adaptation of Voltron on Monday. While Toei produced Hyakujuu Ou Golion (King of Beasts Golion), the anime localized as "lion" Voltron and Kikou Kantai Dairugger XV (Mechanized Fleet Dairugger XV), localized as "vehicle" Voltron, Koplar Communications licensed the rights to that original anime and produced the Volton localization. The relationship between Kopar and Toei went to the courts in 1999 when Koplar's WEP production company created the CG Voltron: The Third Dimension, leading to new agreements between the companies in 2000 , and future head-aches trying to suss out who had the rights to what. For more on the dispute between Kopar/WEP and Toei that ensued following Variety's report concerning the Voltron live action, check out Anime News Network's blow by blow here.
Watch Anime parody video: Voltron, Hell Bent for Leather in Animation  |  View More Free Videos Online at
Imagi has announced the premiere dates for the CG Astro Boy movie Imagi will be the host of the world premiere of Astro Boy on 5th October. Director, David Bowers, and Producer, Maryann Garger, plus Japanese voice talents including Aya Ueto and Koji Yakusho, are expected to attend the world premiere. The film's production base, Hong Kong, will host its own premiere on 17th October, with Astro Boy's Cantonese voice talents, including Aaron Kwok and Goum Ian Iskandar, expected to attend. Los Angeles will host its premiere on 19th October. Astro Boy voice talents including Freddie Highmore, Kristen Bell and Nicolas Cage are expected to attend the L.A. premiere. From the Animation Guild Blog This first release will be a big deal for Imagi, and it will be doing multiple roll outs through the month of October. The picture hits big, the company kicks into high gear with several other projects. Corporate chiefs say that Imagi will move ahead with newer product no matter how Astro Boy performs, but I tend to think that the film's success will be a huge shot in the arm. Imagi is continuing story development on its next project. If Astro is successful, the Sherman Oaks studio space should fill up pretty quickly with newer employees ... or so I'm told.
Readers Talkback
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  • Sept. 23, 2009, 7:34 a.m. CST


    by Bill Brasky

    Because you are last.

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 7:47 a.m. CST

    I must be the only one...

    by vezner2007

    who didn't care about Voltron as a kid.

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 7:55 a.m. CST

    Joseph Gordon-Levitt = Spike Spiegel

    by Delete Me

    I realized it when I saw him in (500) Days of Summer. He would be perfect. I like Reeves... sometimes, but casting him as Spike Spiegel will do the same as casting him in Constantine will do. Fuck it up, that is.

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 7:57 a.m. CST

    oh great...

    by The Amazing G

    they're "pulling it back" because it would cost too much money, fuck you! Bebop deserves a big budget! can't say this news gives me confidence

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 7:58 a.m. CST

    Cowboy Bebop was great

    by DioxholsterReturns

    seriously cool. and Voltron was epic thing when i was a kid but not much now at all

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 8 a.m. CST

    F**k Keanu.

    by Nocturama

    Seriously. He's gonna ruin the Bebop.

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 8:02 a.m. CST

    The Amazing G....yeah, but...

    by FlickaPoo never works when an adaptation (comic, book series, animated series, whatever...)tries for too much and gives you a frantic, superficial, horribly chopped, cliff-notes version of an entire series. Never works.<P>Just pick a story, give it time to breathe and make it good.

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 8:07 a.m. CST


    by dropdead

    If it was a shitty toy/cartoon in the 80's let make a movie out of it! Cant wait for the gobots movie... Or the madballs movie... or the M.U.S.C.L.E.S movie!

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 8:22 a.m. CST

    Katy Perry = Faye

    by FrakMyLife

    I don't know if she can act at all, but she has the absolute perfect look! If I have to sit through Keanu, I at least want some eye candy!

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 8:54 a.m. CST

    Singer Confirmed for Jack the Giant Killer

    by Snikkar124

    Bryan Singer has signed on to direct Jack the Giant Killer, the fantasy adventure from New Line and Legendary Pictures. The film, written by Mark Bomback (Live Free or Die Hard), takes an adult look at the Jack and the Beanstalk legend. When a princess is kidnapped, a long-standing peace between men and giants becomes threatened, and a young farmer is given an opportunity to lead a dangerous expedition to the giant kingdom to rescue her.

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 8:58 a.m. CST

    Eisenberg, Timberlake & Garfield to Star in Facebook Movie

    by Snikkar124

    Columbia Pictures and director David Fincher have cast Jesse Eisenberg, Justin Timberlake and Andrew Garfield in The Social Network, the drama about the formation of Facebook written by Aaron Sorkin. Eisenberg will play Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg; Timberlake will play Sean Parker, the Napster co-founder who became Facebook's founding president; and Andrew Garfield will play Eduardo Saverin, the Facebook co-founder who fell out with Zuckerberg over money. Production will begin next month in Boston and then move to Los Angeles.

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 9:17 a.m. CST

    They already did a live Cowboy Bebop...

    by BubbaDestructo's called Firefly.

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 9:20 a.m. CST

    Is it the Voltron with the cars or the lions?

    by ZombieHeathLedger

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 9:28 a.m. CST


    by ricarleite2


  • Sept. 23, 2009, 9:33 a.m. CST

    The keanu casting is terrrrible...

    by quamb

    This movie could really bomb if they don't nail Spike's character. He's reckless and goofy but a complete bad-ass when needs be. He's also relatively young. All of which really is far from anything Keanu could pull off. Perhaps they are changing the tone to suit Keanu's range? If so then it's not really cowboy beebop then is it?<br><br> The thing about these anime adaptions that are happening, is that the source material is so out-there crazy in the first place that Hollywood are just going to have to tone shit down and basically mess it up. Where as at least comic book adaptations are somewhat fulfilling in that you get to see iconic heroes bought to life.

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 9:33 a.m. CST

    Lions, baby!

    by WIBoomer1

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 10:10 a.m. CST

    500 billion $? Give Blomkamp half a million and he will give you

    by Damien Chowder

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 10:14 a.m. CST

    Oh God, here comes the Blomkamp brigade.

    by TheWaqman

    He couldn't do this film with the same budget. Cowboy Bebop is a space western. District 9 is grounded in South Africa you dolt. Also this film will be absolute shit with Keanu on board for Spike. Sure he could look like him kinda, but he's so dull.

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 11:35 a.m. CST

    Firefly was a movie?

    by Toilet_Terror

    I thought it was a Sci-fi original miniseries.

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 11:41 a.m. CST


    by DJJester

    You Sir should be flogged.

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 12:24 p.m. CST

    There is already a movie...

    by SuperKeeg

    There is already a Cowboy Bebop movie. It is animated and it is AMAZING. Leave the series alone.

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 12:37 p.m. CST

    I can't believe no one's said anything

    by One-Eye Tigh

    About the guy in the Voltron section: "ImageAtlas Entertainment’s Charles Roven, Richard Suckle and..."<br><br> THE GUY'S NAME IS DICK SUCKLE.

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 2:34 p.m. CST

    Has anyone read the Voltron script ? It is a MEGA TURD

    by the Green Gargantua

    Sooooo fucking terrible. A steaming pile of shit people, believe me.

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 2:38 p.m. CST

    A creepy Tim Burton Johnny Socko Giant Robot movie

    by the Green Gargantua

    Based on the live action TV show would fucking own all over you. GodDAMM that would rule sooo much. The creepy character design? giant monsters? The Gargoyle Gang? WOW

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 2:41 p.m. CST

    When Giant Robot sacrifices himself at the end?

    by the Green Gargantua

    Not a dry eye in the house, I am telling you.

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 3:16 p.m. CST


    by Killah_Mate

    Replace that horrible Cowboy Bebop YouTube clip, or I will hurt you.

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 5:55 p.m. CST

    Voltron Spolier

    by joe90025

    He cuts the giant monster in half at the end

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 6:45 p.m. CST

    if you like this...

    by StrokerX

    than you'll LOVE my comic GOLDILOCK!<p> Fighting for 1st Place in DC's Comic competition at <p> Can my AICN people help me out with a vote?:) I'd be so thankful!

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 7:53 p.m. CST

    My vote for Faye Valentine is...

    by gundamMeister

    Katy Perry. She is anime come to life and she is perfect for Faye Valentine.

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 8:35 p.m. CST

    Heck with Voltron

    by MJAYACE

    Check this out: Star Blazers rocked. Unfortunately this looks like Japan only. We need a Star Blazers live action.

  • Sept. 23, 2009, 9:27 p.m. CST

    WOw Katy Perry idea

    by RainesMaker

    if she could act... that would definately be an interesting choice. I like Vin Desiel or Ron PEarlman for Jet. Keanu as spike doesnt offend me.

  • Sept. 24, 2009, 1:40 a.m. CST

    Why are they even making these movies?

    by Triple_J_72

    Just asking...

  • Sept. 24, 2009, 11:28 a.m. CST

    Is that nude in the bathroom Katy Perry pic real?

    by the Green Gargantua

    Or fake? She is the hottest.