Imagi Studios has signed David Bowers to direct the CG-animated motion picture AstroBoy, it was announced by Francis Kao, Co-CEO & Chief Creative Officer, and Cecil Kramer, Executive VP of Production.
Bowers is a longtime fan of AstroBoy, the iconic character created by the “god of manga,” Japan’s Osamu Tezuka. AstroBoy has enjoyed great acclaim and success around the world as the hero of animated television series that have delighted generations of audiences.
Commented David Bowers: “I’ve had a lifelong affection for the original AstroBoy, so am looking forward to giving him the full action-adventure Hollywood treatment. His story is both emotional and spectacular, so it absolutely lends itself to the big screen. With the amazing crew that Imagi has assembled, I feel there’s an opportunity to create something very special a film to surprise audiences, have them on the edge of their seats, and hopefully make them laugh, too.”
AstroBoy producer Maryann Garger said: “I’m incredibly excited to be working again with David. Not only is he a visionary director, but he brings extraordinary passion and care to his films.” Garger was a co-producer on the award-winning Flushed Away, directed by Bowers.
Starting in the world of animation with Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Bowers worked at the famed British studio Cosgrove Hall before joining Steven Spielberg’s Amblimation in London.
When DreamWorks was founded, Bowers relocated to Los Angeles where he worked primarily as a story artist on The Prince of Egypt and The Road to El Dorado. It was during this period that he met
Nick Park and Peter Lord, marking the beginning of a long and fruitful relationship with UK animation house Aardman. After helping to conceive of and storyboard many of the major set pieces for Chicken Run, Bowers continued to move between Los Angeles and Bristol (England), serving in key creative capacities on various DreamWorks and Aardman projects including Shark Tale and Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, which won the 2005 Academy Award® for Best Animated Feature Film, before directing Flushed Away, winner of five Annie Awards.
Set in futuristic Metro City, AstroBoy is about a young robot with incredible powers created by a brilliant scientist in the image of the son he has lost. Unable to fulfill the grieving man’s expectations, our hero embarks on a journey in search of acceptance, experiencing betrayal and a netherworld of robot gladiators, before he returns to save Metro City and reconcile with the father who had rejected him.
AstroBoy is slated for worldwide release in 2009 from Warner Bros. Pictures and The Weinstein Company.