Tatsunoko Productions’ classic anime series Science Ninja Team Gatchaman is getting a live-action movie adaptation. Nikkatsu Corp will produce the movie, which begins filming on October 15, and Toho Co., Ltd will distribute the flick to Japanese theatres Summer 2013.
Made in part to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Tatsunoko Productions and the 100th year anniversary of Nikkatsu’s, Gatchaman the movie is said to feature more CG cutscenes than Yatterman (1,300 cutscenes) and Gantz (over 1,000 combined in parts one and two).
The film will star Tori Matsuzaka as Ken Washio/Ken the Eagle, and Ayame Gouriki as Jun/June the Swan.
Gou Ayano, Ryohei Suzuki, and Tatsuomi Hamada will play the roles of Jo Asakura/Joe the Condor, Ryu Nakanishi/Rocky the Owl, and Jinpei/Jimmy the Falcon respectively. Cast members for Gatchaman’s enemies will be announced at a later date.
Renowned TV and movie director Touya Satou (Kaiji 1 and 2, Gokusen) will lead the production crew. The movie’s script will be penned by Yusuke Watanabe who also did the ones for the Gantz and 20th Century Boys live-action adaptations.
Action-scene stunts will be directed by Tatsuro Koike, who’s worked on Hollywood movies such as The Last Samurai and Daredevil. Appleseed and Appleseed Ex Machina‘s Shinji will handle character designs. VFX work will be done by Shirogumi studio, which film director Takeshi Yamazaki is a member of.
Director Satou says that he hopes to deliver a movie that will surpass Hollywood superhero flicks in terms of impact.
“We’re approaching the production of this film with the utmost care and respect for the world of the original anime series. We’ve got a cast of young, talented actors. And the entire production team would truly like to make a film that even viewers who have never heard of Science Ninja Team Gatchaman will enjoy,” he said in Japanese.
“We’d like to put together the type of superhero movie that only Japan can make, and we’re pinning our hopes on succeeding because the times are ripe for us to achieve this dream.”