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The live-action anime guide July 28, 2008

Posted by ashiah in Film, In the news.
Tags: , , , ,

Last week’s announcement of a live-action film adaptation of the popular anime series Cowboy Beboy was met with mixed enthusiasm. It’s one of the few animes that could make a successful transition, if done correctly. But with the superhero genre already over-saturated (another Hulk movie?), studios are turning to anime for new ideas. There’s a current influx of anime-to-live-action films all lined up to be the next Transformers or Speed Racer. Below is a handy guide that lists all the news, rumors, and gossip of upcoming anime adaptations.

Dragonball (2009)
Cast: Justin Chatwin, Emmy Rossum, James Marsters, Jamie Chung, Chow Yun-Fat
Director: James Wong
Studios are crossing their fingers every obnoxious kid obsessed with the Dragon Ball Z TV show throughout the ’90s and early ’00s will be psyched to see the movie in 2009. Unfortunately, most of those kids are grown and being the cynical adults we are now, we know a live-action Dragonball Z will never work. The TV show never made much sense to begin with. Goku is an alien, there are dragonballs to wish on, they fight a lot….you know, it’s not worth the explaination.

Death Note (2010)
Cast: ??
Already spawned into a successful live-action film in Japan, Death Note is planning on an American makeover, but for now it’s all hearsay. Based off the popular anime series, Death Note is about a guy who finds a notebook that has a strange power. He learns that writing a name in the notebook automatically kills that person, which creates all kinds of moralistic drama for people to ponder over. Fans of the anime were not happy with the Japanese live-action film, so they’re probably not particularly peached for the American remake either. I have seen neither. But if the studio is smart, it’ll cast a bunch of heart throbs. Never underestimate the power of fangirls.

Battle Angel (2009)
Director: James Cameron
Cast: Is in CGI
Although not as popular as other anime adaptations, the upcoming Battle Angel adaptation has been in production for awhile and looks the most promising. Based on the anime cult favorite, Battle Angel follows the story of a cyborg girl who’s also a bounty hunter. The story takes place in a run-down city that exists below another city. People kill and sell body parts on the black market to save money and move to the city in the sky. The story is moody, affecting and can work as a live-action film if done right. Cameron’s TV series Dark Angel was loosely based on Battle Angel, and as soon as he can convince people that these two are not the same thing, he might have a hit on his hands.

Akira (2009)
Director: Ruairi Robinson
Cast: RUMORED Leonardo diCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Leo Lee
Trumped as the best anime film of all time, this live-action has some major shoes to fill. Based on the ’80s anime film about a bike leader who runs into some nasty government corruption, the film could translate well, but fans don’t want to take the risk. Rumored actors Leonardo diCaprio and Joseph Gordon-Levitt gives the whole production the extra leverage it needs.

Ghost in the Shell (2011)
Director: ??
Cast: ??
Ghost in the Shell has been a film, a sequel, a TV show, and now a live-action film. And since the franchise deals with a pretty girl in minimal clothing, the live-action film won’t be able to keep itself from turning into the inevitable Angelina Jolie/Megan Foxx vehicle for horny teen guys. The story about a cyborg cop tapping into interactive networks to catch criminals might work with the right director and the right actress.



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