Put this in the category: "Good news -- we're pretty sure." The new film adaptation of classic anime series Astro Boy has resumed production, according to Variety, after financial shortfalls shelved the project last month. Imagi Entertainment says it has already called back most of its staffers to finish the film, which means it can meet its previously-announced release date of October 23, 2009.
The teaser debuted (in glorious HD!) on Moviefone in November, and while it featured Astro Boy swooping majestically in flight, it was too brief to do more than, well, tease. (Duh!) While my childhood was definitely enhanced by regular viewings of Speed Racer, Gigantor, and Kimba the White Lion (also based on a manga by Astro Boy creator Osamu Tezuka), I never latched on to Astro Boy, so I'm more curious than enthusiastic.
The plot sounds like a typical superhero origin story: Astro Boy is a young robot with superpowers (strength, speed, flight, and x-ray vision) who "learns the joys and emotions of being human" and must marshal "all his awesome super powers ... to save everything he cares about and to embrace his place in the world," per the synopsis. The Wachowskis crashed and burned with their wacked-out version of Speed Racer last year, but, so far, Astro Boy looks like it will fall safely into more familiar, traditional, computer-animated territory, complete with "colorful characters" and a voice cast featuring Freddy Highmore, Kristen Bell, Nicolas Cage, Bill Nighy, Donald Sutherland, Nathan Lane and Eugene Levy.
Did you watch the remake version of Astro Boy in the 80s? Are you cheered by the news that the new version will arrive this fall? Or are you dreading the prospect of another cherished childhood memory being trashed?