Friday, December 18, 2009

Live-action movie updates (12/18/2009)

Massive live-action movie updates here. I was debating wether to post this all as one post or separate ones. I went with a massive post. Now lets start with the one I usually post updates about....

Battle Angel Alita

We finally have a serious update about the status of the Battle Angel Alita movie from James Cameron himself. So these aren't just rumors I've found, its the real deal! In several recent interviews about his newest film Avatar, a few have asked Cameron if he still plans to make a LA Battle Angel. Turns out Cameron is definitely still considering it, but it might be still sitting on the back burner for a while longer while he tackles a few other projects. However, Cameron is making it sound like everything is together and ready for when he finally wants to start working on the film. The script is done, the designs are set, the technology he developed and used while making Avatar he plans to use in Battle Angel as well. Sadly, it turns out that the rumored test footage might be just a rumor afteral, as Cameron stated he hasn't made any test footage yet.

More details, which include interviews with Cameron, can be found here and here.

I just wish Cameron will stop giving us a "maybe" and give us a little more definite answer, seeing how he's been making us all wait for over 5 years now.


Cowboy Bebop

Of course, Battle Angel isn't the only one i've been keeping track of (Its just that there's been more info on it than the other films that are in the works). Today after finally getting some solid info on Battle Angel, I decided to try checking some of the other film projects as well.

First up: Cowboy Bebop, and from what I gather it sounds quite promising too. Thankfully for all of us, they are definitely working together very closely with Sunrise, the original studio behind the Cowboy Bebop anime, as well as the original director Shinichiro Watanabe. Sunrise even has control over the script, and if they don't like it, the movie won't be made. As for the script itself, its currently going under a rewrite. Apparently it is said to be quite faithful to the anime, and as it is now it would cost half a billion dollars to make the movie. So the scriptwriter who is working on it (who is now a fan of the series too after working on this film) is rewriting it so it shouldn't cost as much to make.

Details here, here, and for newest updates in one place check here.

Keanu Reeves as Spike: one fan's vision.....hilarious, yet also very scary.


Death Note

Also in the works we have Death Note and Ghost in the Shell. I haven't heard much about these except announcements of what studios will be doing them and a couple of rumors for Death Note.

As for DN, Warner Brothers will be doing it. I was expecting DN to get the American LA treatment sometime, plus out of all of the mainstream anime and manga, it definitely is one of the better picks, as it won't heavily rely on CGI. Warner is expected, seeing how they did the Japanese live-action films as well which turned out okay. Rumor has it that the director working on this plans to turn this into a horror flick. If this is true that's one strike against this film already. Dedicated fans know that DN isn't a horror story, but rather more of a suspenseful thriller. A possible strike two the rumor about who will be playing the part of Light Yagami. Its said that it will be Zac Efron playing him, ya know, the starring guy from High School Musical?

Granted, he looks like Light, the perfect pretty boy that makes the girls swoon, but can he play the part of the psychotic, maniacal-laughing mass murderer? Answer: highly doubtful. Get outta here you wannabe actor, and give the role of Light to someone who can actually act. Plus, I don't want DN to turn into a Disney fest.

....Please shoot me.

The third strike will be who they end up casting for L. If the cast the wrong person, I will loose all hope for this film. (One person commented on how Johnny Depp should play him, thats not a bad idea actually....) But I think I already found the third strike (here). If this is real too then I have offically lost all hope in this and i'm grabbing my own Death Note and writing everybody's name down who was involved with this "movie". Man, leave it up to Hollywood to f**k up an already fine story. If this script is real then it will kill everything we all know and love about DN.

Ghost in the Shell

Then lets not forget Ghost in the Shell, honestly, I've only seen the first film from this series so far, so I can't say too much about this one (I only like getting into talking about series I'm more familiar with). I gonna say its quite pointless to do an American LA version as we already have one: The Matrix.

Okay, its not exactly the same, but the folks who worked on The Matrix said they where inspired by Ghost in the Shell when they where working on it, and it shows too. Anyways, supposedly Dreamworks is working on this one and plans to use a combination of live-action and CGI animation, Steven Spielberg even be directing it. I'm iffy on this one. The guy has made some great films and all, but I just don't see him doing a good job with this movie. Then again, I feel Ghost in the Shell shouldn't be getting the LA treatment at all, the original animated film is fine as is, and it still holds up well today, even if it was made back in 1995.

While there at it, if they are going to be doing a LA film with CGI animation, perhaps they should borrow Cameron's new technology he developed, I have a feeling there gonna need it.


Clover (by CLAMP)

Also in the news, Dark Horse is currently negotiating with Universal for a possible live-action film of CLAMP's manga series Clover. I have to ask: why Clover? I suppose it would be one of the better picks of the CLAMP library to turn into a live-action film, but if they do live-action, its going to be a very tricky film to make (not to mention expensive). For those who haven't read Clover, I find it best described as a poem in the form of a "comic". I quote that because its very unique and original from the average comic, whether it be Japanese or American. The placement of the artwork and panels is very stylized, so if they do make a movie, they are gonna need a director who uses a very artistic style, to recapture that stylized look. Then they are going to need to be quite heavy on the CGI to recreate the futuristic setting. So its going to be a movie that's quite dependent on visuals, as the visuals are what make Clover.

As for the plot to the story, but there isn't much to it, so it should be easy to condense the story into an 1 1/2 to 2 hour time frame, its the visuals that really matter. So I hope they get a good director for this, and not just any joe. I guess this is good news at the same time, seeing how somebody is attempting to make a LA film of a manga series that isn't a mainstream one. Hollywood should try and tackle more lesser known titles. This news bit also reminds me that Dark Horse is one of the few companies that distributes anime/manga that has connections in Hollywood (Hellboy and its sequel anyone?)

So Dark Horse: How about a live-action Hellsing and Trigun while you're at it, seeing how you have the rights to those manga series as well?

A page from Clover, you can see this isn't the average comic book where dealing with here...

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Bakuman gets an anime!

The newest manga series that's by the masterminds behind Death Note, Bakuman, is getting an anime. When I went and started reading the newest chapter, Chapter 66, I flipped with joy when I saw the announcement. (Scan of page below, translated in English)

Hell yeah! I know what i'm watching next fall. I figured Bakuman would get its own series eventually, I just wasn't expecting it this soon. Ohba and Obata waited until Death Note was nearing its end before they let Madhouse make an anime series out of it, so maybe Bakuman is nearing its end as well? Seems kinda early for the manga to be ending though, as these guys managed to churn out 103 chapters of Death Note, and before that Obata worked on Hikaru no Go, which had 191 chapters. Plus, i'm kinda worried that they might run out of material to work with, but they still have about a year before the anime, so that gives the manga time to put out more material. I just hope it doesn't end up with an anime invented ending, or have a ton of annoying filler episodes, which is what happens to 80% of all manga to anime adaptations.

It has also been announced that JC Staff will be behind the anime and will air on the NHK channel. I have mixed feelings about this. I really like JC Staff's artwork, but their adaptations are hit or miss. Azumanga Daioh and ToraDora! where fantastic, but they murdered Zero no Tsukaima with excessive fanservice and added in too many pointless filler episodes in the 2nd season of Shakugan no Shana. They also made those recent crappy filler "seasons" of Slayers of material that wasn't really in the novels, almost killing that series too. I guess it just comes down to the people who are working on the anime. Also, there is one positive side that this is being done by JC Staff. JC Staff, unlike most animation studios, when the source the anime adaptation is following isn't completed, they tend to continue the anime later when the original manga/novel has more material for them to work with. So theres less likely a chance of an anime invented ending if the manga isn't finished by the time the anime ends. I was really hoping Madhouse would get this series after doing such an awsome job with Death Note, but I guess they are too busy with some of the other projects they got going on.

Then theres still the fact that its airing on the NHK, the PBS channel of Japan, which also worries me. This is the same network that aired Cardcaptor Sakura, the Tsubasa Chronicle anime by Bee Train, and currently Kobato, which are all manga adaptations. From what i've noticed, all anime on this network gets watered down and censored so kids can watch it. Tsubasa Chronicle and Kobato mangas both included drinking, and material that isn't suitable for kids, these scenes where either removed, altered or shown in some way that would be apporprate for kids to view. Thankfully, Bakuman doesn't have any drinking from what I remember, or any sort of material that would be "offensive" (maybe just a few small bits, but nothing major really). What worries me is that they might dumb it down for kids. Bakuman gets really heavy into the details about the manga industry, and gets very detailed with the rest of the story as well. (Remember how detailed the story of Death Note was?Same thing here, just different story.) I won't be surprised if they cut back on some of the details (same thing happened with the Death Note anime), I just hope they don't cut out/alter too much.

Well, on that note, lets hope for the best and that this turns out alright.

"It's an anime adaptation of a manga drawn by two mangakas which is about two mangakas drawing a manga in the hopes of it getting made into an anime.

Brilliant." ~ Quote from user Haylias on the MAL forums.

Pretty much sums things up. It's gonna be interesting.