Imagi Greenlights Fluorescent Black

Hong Kong- and Los Angeles-based Imagi Animation Studios has picked up rights to a sci-fi screenplay titled Fluorescent Black from Matt Wilson. According to Daily Variety, the script will be adapted as a graphic novel before being made into a film by the studio that produced TMNT and upcoming CG features based on the classic anime properties Astroboy and Gatchaman.

Fluorescent Black is described as a futuristic action flick is set in Singapore and the Malaysian peninsula. The graphic novel is expected to be finished by mid-2008 and is slated to grace the cover of the July edition of Heavy Metal magazine. While Imagi’s previous acquisitions have come from the comic-book world, this will be the first one that the studio itself sends to the presses.

Rebooting the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise, TMNT has grossed more than $94 million worldwide on the back of a modest (by animation standards) $34 million budget. The film’s director, Kevin Munroe, is also helming Gatchaman. It and Astroboy are each being produced for $40 million and will be distributed by Warner Bros. and The Weinstein Co.

Gatchaman is based on the classic anime TV series Science Ninja Team Gatchaman, which debuted in the 1970 may be better known to viewers in the U.S. as Battle of the Planets or G-Force. Imagi’s CG update is scheduled to hit theaters in early 2009. AstroBoy will follow later in 2009. Colin Brady (Toy Story 2, Everyone’s Hero) is directing the adaptation of the classic manga by Osamu Tezuka, which spawned a black-and-white animated series that debuted on Japanese television 1963 before making its way around the world.