It's a good year to be a comic book writer. You can't throw a collectible at a Con without hitting a graphic novel that's just been optioned for a movie. From Marc Guggenheim's Resurrection to Hiding In Time, comics are the new Hollywood pitches. And are Japanese manga and anime next? Astro Boy's studio Imagi just got a hefty new investor, so it's looking more and more as if 2009 will be the year of the big-screen anime adaptation.
Imagi is selling shares in the company for an increase in funding that will hopefully increase its " development of four full-length feature computer graphics imagery animation movies, scheduled tentatively to be released from 2009 to 2011." Imagi is already set to release movies of the classics Astro Boy and Gatchaman. It's probably a safe bet that the other two releases designated for those years (they'll put out a movie every 8 months) will most likely be anime as well.
Hollywood is mad for live action anime remakes: Leonardo DiCaprio's production company and Warner Brothers are set to bring Akira to life, and Stephen Spielberg and DreamWorks are recreating the immensely popular Ghost in the Shell, which will also be 3-D. But I'm most excited for the re-creation of Robotech, and the mecha-warriors of the future.
I'm looking forward to a year of introducing the world of anime to the mainstream audience, I especially would like to see what everyone will think of Takashi Murakami Planting the Seeds feature film.
It's a mere matter of months until we start seeing more American live action flicks with school girl's toting around weaponry Mai HiME style, and is it wishful thinking to hope for a epic fantasy remake of InuYasha? I say the more girls in school outfits blowing up the world, the better.