When the popular Web comic-turned-book series made the leap to the big screen earlier this year, the movie earned about $64 million — a big hit considering that Diary of a Wimpy Kid was made for around $15 million. So it's no surprise that a sequel is in the works. What is surprising, though, is the release date given to Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2: Roderick Rules — March 25, 2011.
The entire cast is set to return (meet them here), with filming to start next month in Vancouver. This time David Bowers (Flushed Away, Astro Boy) will direct. Posted 07.09.10 by reelz
Though incredible strides have been made in the advancement of computer and robot technology, it's highly unlikely that we'll be seeing a flying boy robot with butt cannons anytime soon. Astro Boy director David Bowers admits that Astro and some of the other robots in the film are extremely "sci-fi-y." He told Popular Mechanics that he did make a conscious effort to base some of the technology in the movie in reality.
I wanted the technology to be relatable. That's why the cars look vaguely like cars. I wanted people to understand without having to say, "What the hell is that?"
Bowers says that, unlike Astro Boy, many of the other robots in the film are more plausible, with a basis in current or near-future technology.
[The other robots] aren't humanoid, like Astro Boy — they're designed to do a job. I just really love the idea of nanobots, they're very cool. And if you're doing a sci-fi movie, you have to have military tech. You have to have robots with big guns.
Astro Boy's nemesis, Peace Keeper, is a gigantic robot capable of repairing and modifying itself by incorporating raw materials into itself, an idea that Bowers admitted was harder to conceptualize than it was for him to imagine.
When I came up with the idea, I thought, I have no idea how I'm going to achieve this! I wanted Astro Boy to be fighting a robot so huge and powerful that people would wonder how he could defeat it.
Astro Boy stars Freddie Highmore as the voice of Astro Boy and also features the voice talents of Kristen Bell and Donald Sutherland. Posted 10.22.09 by BrentJS
While Astro Boy is hardly a household name in America, he is something of a cultural icon in his native Japan. In fact, a six-foot statue of "Tetsuwan Atom" (Astro Boy) was erected outside Ikeda Elementary School in Osaka's Ikeda City to honor Osamu Tezuka, the man who created the character in the '50s.
Director David Bowers (Flushed Away) was the man tasked by Imagi Animation Studios with updating Astro Boy for modern American audiences. Bowers told AMC that he looked to some classic sci-fi films for inspiration.
I think things like Star Wars and Blade Runner have just been so influential that if you make a science fiction film you can't help but include elements. But I was just after making a very cool science fiction film, so I just threw all of the things I loved into a giant melting pot and tried to make something original from it. Somebody asked me during production, "Who's this movie aimed at?" And I cited Star Wars as an example of a film I loved when I was ten years old — I loved the robots and the space battles. And then when I came back to it as an adult, I loved Luke Skywalker's journey and his relationship with his father. So I hoped this movie too would work on different levels.
Bowers designed the world of Astro Boy to be futuristic, yet familiar, a style he calls "retro-futurist."
I wanted to make sure that the Astro Boy movie felt as fresh and new and original to audiences today as Tezuko's strips were in the 1950s. But of course nowadays they look retro and old-fashioned. So I tried to retain elements of that and the feel of it, but sort of update the style of it. Posted 10.20.09 by BrentJS
Initially unveiled at the San Diego Comic-Con to thunderous applause, Imagi's latest animated adventure, Astro Boy, debuts in theaters this week and director David Bowers is hoping that American audiences will connect with his take on the iconic Japanese character created by Osamu Tezuka.
It's such a rich story, and I think its themes are universal. I think American audiences are very used to superheroes, so it's not an enormous stretch for them. The only difficulty was having it be such a beloved character and having to decide what to retain and what to get rid of.
I like origin stories. I think Richard Donner's Superman is still just about the best superhero movie ever made. And I think it's interesting to see where these characters come from and what their roots are. I think it would be hard to jump into an Astro Boy movie with him already fighting robots and battling aliens. Plus, I think the story, what happens to Toby and why Astro Boy is created, it's pretty compelling.
Bowers' first film as a director was the light-hearted animated film Flushed Away, but he got his start as an animator and story artist on such films as Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Shark Tale, skills that proved useful when directing a movie about a robot boy with a fairly distinctive haircut.
The graphic image is great, but in three dimensions when he turns his head one of the hair points disappears. So I swap it over every now and again. So it points left in some shots and right in the others. It's just like Mickey Mouse's ears.
Astro Boy stars Freddie Highmore as the voice of Astro Boy and also features the voice talents of Kristen Bell and Donald Sutherland. Posted 10.19.09 by BrentJS
Imagi Animation Studios has released a series of new stills from the upcoming CGI film Astro Boy. Imagi put on a media blitz at San Diego Comic-Con, showing several unfinished scenes and hosting round table interviews with the cast, and since that time they've been carefully releasing bits and pieces of artwork to help build on the momentum generated at that event.
Astro Boy was directed by David Bowers (Flushed Away) and features the voice talents of Freddie Highmore, Kristin Bell, Nicolas Cage, Nathan Lane, Eugene Levy, Donald Sutherland, Bill Nighy, and Samuel L. Jackson. Posted 08.28.09 by BrentJS
After viewing Imagi Animation Studios' unfinished footage of Astro Boy at the San Diego Comic-Con, we had the opportunity to sit down and chat with actress Kristen Bell, who provides the voice of Cora, a character created just for the Astro Boy movie. Bell, famous for her roles on Veronica Mars and Heroes, said, "I saw the movie a couple nights ago and I loved it." Bell went on to say that while the movie contains kid-friendly action, it still touches on some important themes, including the importance of preserving our environment and the old standby of being kind to one another.
Astro Boy was directed by David Bowers and also features the voice talents of Freddie Highmore, Nicolas Cage, Nathan Lane, Eugene Levy, Donald Sutherland, Bill Nighy, and Samuel L. Jackson. Posted 08.03.09 by BrentJS
Astro Boy has new life, thanks to CGI magic and the talent of voice actor Freddie Highmore. Created in back in 1950s Japan as a work of manga (Japanese for "comic book") by Osamu Tezuka, Astro Boy was turned into a popular TV series that ran for three years in Japan before being exported to the rest of the world.
Imagi Animation Studios rolled out unfinished clips of the new feature-length CGI Astro Boy movie at the San Diego Comic-Con and Reelz had the opportunity to sit down with Highmore after the presentation for a little Q&A. Watch the clip below for Highmore's response to the question, "Are you personally a fan of animation and comic books?"
Astro Boy was directed by David Bowers and also features the voice talents of Kristin Bell, Nicolas Cage, Nathan Lane, Eugene Levy, Donald Sutherland, Bill Nighy, and Samuel L. Jackson. Posted 07.25.09 by BrentJS
A movie that could very well be at Comic-Con next year is Astro Boy, the animated sci-fi story will star the voices of Scarlett Johanssen, Donald Sutherland, Nicolas Cage and Freddie Highmore in the title role. The movie is set for release next year, but here's the new poster. David Bowers, who was one of the directors of Flushed Away in 2006, is the director of Astro Boy. He tells ReelzChannel that the movie will go more for the heart than the laughs featured in Flushed Away.
It's based on the classic 1950s anime about a young android boy (Astro) who's created by his father to replace the real son he's lost. Astro doesn't work out at first but then it's discovered he was gifted with superior powers and skills, as well as the ability to experience human emotions. It's a very emotional story. Posted 07.24.08 by reelz