Paul Dini’s the Man for Gatchaman

Warner Bros. Animation veteran Paul Dini’whose amazing credits include Batman: the Animated Series, Superman, Batman Beyond, Duck Dodgers and the ABC series Lost‘has been tapped to collaborate on the upcoming script for Imagi Animation Studios’ upcoming feature Gatchaman.

‘The original series was one of the classics of early anime, and the film will be very true to the Japanese source material,’ says Dini. ‘As a studio, Imagi is constantly breaking the boundaries of animated adventure. Not only are their action sequences amazing, but their characters are driven, complex and play for life-or-death stakes. It’s a great environment for a writer with a rather dark take on animation.’

Writer-producer Paul Dini is the winner of multiple Emmy, Eisner and Writers Guild of America Awards, Dini is also currently masterminding the DC Comics 2007 weekly series Countdown. His creations Jingle Belle and Mutant, Texas continue to appear frequently from Dark Horse, Oni Press and other publishers. Dini and his wife, magician Misty Lee, have also launched a popular series of Internet shorts featuring their puppet creation, Little Rashy.

Gatchaman is based on the successful Japanese franchise created in the early 1970s by anime pioneer Tatsuo Yoshida. Aired in the U.S. as Battle of the Planets and G-Force, the TV series soon became one of the top syndicated shows. Scheduled for release in early 2009, Gatchaman is a big vfx-driven movie set in a future world grappling with environmental and technological issues. The story focuses on five reluctant heroes whose remarkable genetic code makes them Earth’s only hope of defeating extra-terrestrial invaders. The feature will be directed by Kevin Munroe (TMNT) and produced by Lynne Southerland.

Imagi is also producing a big CG-animated feature based on Osamu Tezuka’s Astro Boy. Also slated for 2009, the movie will be directed by Colin Brady.