Osamu Tezuka’s beloved and iconic Astro Boy franchise is getting a reboot. French animator and director Thomas Astruc, who created Miraculous – Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir, will be directing a 52-episode CGI-3D series. It’s being produced by Method Animation and Shibuya.
Shibuya Productions is headquartered in Monaco, and created by Kostadin Yanev and Cedric Biscay. Method Animation is behind Miraculous and The Little Prince, the latter of which received Cesar and BAFTA awards.
Mediawan and Shibuya said in a statement, “Tezuka’s original comics were far advanced in delivering a powerful message to readers worldwide. These fantastic stories of the little boy who flies are all about strong values that still resonate today for a global audience.”
Variety, which revealed the news, reported that the new Astro Boy will cover “today’s hot-button issues” and specifically listed off social media, the internet and environmentalism.
“It is a huge responsibility to revisit the mythical character of Astroboy, I am particularly happy to have met at Method Animation an ambitious and passionate team that will allow us to take this series to the highest heights,” Shibuya’s Biscay commented.
“‘Astroboy’ is a cult series that has overseen the future like no other property. In the strange world we live in today, everybody needs Astroboy to come back!” said Astruc.
Method Animation President Aton Soumache said, “‘Astroboy’ is so universal and contemporary that we are not only developing a reboot but a consistent continuum in the full respect of the original universe. It took us several months to secure the rights and there were of course many Japanese and American companies which were circling this property, but ultimately (Tezuka’s right holders) entrusted us with it because we have a similar sensibility and culture of graphic novels in both our countries, and what we have achieved with ‘Miraculous’ in Japan and around the world also played a big role in convincing them. It’s a collaboration based on respect and trust.”
Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin. She is also the author of its upcoming sequel, Manga Art for Everyone, and the first-of-its-kind manga chalk book Chalk Art Manga, both illustrated by professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at www.danicadavidson.com.