Leighton To Direct <b><i>AstroBoy</i></b> - Mania.com

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Leighton To Direct AstroBoy

By Rob M. Worley     December 10, 2001

Varietyreports that Eric Leighton is set to direct an all CGI feature film version of AstroBoyfor Sony Pictures Entertainment. Leighton co-directed Disney's CGI flick Dinosaur.Todd Alcott (Antz) and Ken Kaufman (Space Cowboys)wrote the screenplay for the film, based on Osamu Tezuka manga creation.

AstroBoytells the story of a grieving scientist who creates an artificial boy to replacehis dead son. The character becomes a a publicly renowned superhero -- completewith devices like laser-firing fingers, uncanny hearing and jet-powered boots --all eventually used to repulse an alien invasion of Earth.

According to thewrite-up Sony's Imageworks special effect facility is already working up testfootage for the film. A 2004 release date is planned. Variety indicatesthat AstroBoy may be part of an effort by Sony to reposition itsImageworks special effects facility as a digital studio on par with Pixar. Themove is bolstered by the recent box office successes of Disney/Pixar's Monsters,Inc. and Dreamworks' Shrek.

Don Murphy'sAngryfilms (From Hell) is set to produce. Lisa Henson, presidentof Jim Henson Pictures and Kristine Belson, production executive at Henson, willalso produce. SPE vice-chairman Gareth Wigan is overseeing the production.


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