Summit Entertainment and Imagi Studios have entered into a global alliance whereby Summit will distribute Imagi's upcoming CG-animated motion picture Astro Boy worldwide except for Imagi's reserved territories of Japan, Hong Kong and China. The announcement was made jointly by Rob Friedman, Co-Chairman and CEO of Summit Entertainment and Douglas Glen, CEO of Imagi Studios.
"We are pleased to join with Imagi Studios in bringing the exceptional world of Astro Boy to both existing and a new generation of fans alike," said Friedman. "The team at Imagi Studios is capturing the spirit of this popular post-modern franchise by doing great things with the story, characters and animation. Astro Boy promises to be an excellent addition to our existing slate of family films."
Glen said, "Astro Boy has been one of the world's best-known and most loved superheroes for more than fifty years. We are pleased to partner with Summit to deliver Astro Boy's first CGI feature film to worldwide audiences on a grand scale. Imagi and Summit are a great fit, with high energy, entrepreneurial cultures and a vision of building movie-driven global brands."
Slated for worldwide theatrical release in 2009, Astro Boy will feature the voices of Academy Award-winning actor Nicolas Cage, Donald Sutherland, Nathan Lane, Bill Nighy and Eugene Levy with Freddie Highmore in the title role. David Bowers is directing Astro Boy from a screenplay written by Timothy Harris, with Maryann Garger producing.
Astro Boy was created by the "god of manga", Japan's Osamu Tezuka, in the early 1950s. The iconic character has since found wide popularity around the world as the hero of three acclaimed animated television series spanning the past four decades, besides being one of the top licensed properties for merchandising.
Set in futuristic Metro City, Imagi Studios' Astro Boy is about a young robot with incredible powers created by a brilliant scientist to replace the son he has lost. Unable to fulfill the grieving father'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 man who had rejected him.
Astro Boy is the second CG-animated feature film from Imagi Studios, following its 2007 release TMNT.