Hollywood isn’t the only movie-making center that looks to past properties to reinvent as big screen blockbusters. Japanese filmmakers in the last couple of years have turned to such 1970s and 80s properties as Karate-Robo Zabragar, Space Cruiser Yamato (aka Starblazers) and Space Pirate Captain Harlock to movie-going audiences with various degrees of success. The latest in that trend is a live action version of the classic 1970s anime series Gatchaman, known over here as Battle Of The Planets.
As in the original anime, the film will focus on five teens who are recruited to help stop an alien invasion from the mysterious terrorist group known as Galactor.
The script for this live action version is by Yūsuke Watanabe, who also wrote the two-part live action of the manga and anime Gantz as well as the upcoming Dragon Ball Z feature. In the director’s chair is Toya Sato, best known for the live-action Grave of the Fireflies.
The just released trailer does not have any English subtitles, but fans of the old show will vertainly recognize a number of things in it.
A few years ago, animation studio Imagi tried to mount a theatrical film version of the show but the project was cancelled when the studio encountered financial problems following the disastrous release of their Astro Boy adaptation.
Gatchaman is scheduled for release in Japan on August 24. Currently, it looks as if there is no distributor lined up for the film. Hopefully it won’t suffer the same fate as the live action Starblazers/ Space Cruiser Yamato when it comes to a possible release here.