Manga

The flames are hot here in development hell, and there’s way too much cocaine. Way, way too much. So why wouldn’t we come back? When we first examined 8 Promised Movies That Still Haven’t Been Made, it was an exploration of the complex world of filmmaking where the smallest issue can derail an entire project potentially worth millions. Nervous executives, scheduling conflicts, hangnails. Getting a movie made is a miracle, and even those that get hailed in the press as moving forward are sometimes abandoned. Considering our national grand obsession with hypotheticals, here are 8 more movies we were told would happen that haven’t (including some that won’t).

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The power of Gigantor is in Bryan Barber‘s hand. The music video and Idlewild director grew tired of being passed over for bigger budget gigs, so he decided to buy the rights (including toys and video games) for a movie-ready concept that, according to Deadline Toyama, he’s describing as Transformers meets The Goonies. That’s some solid math right there. The project he’s picked is Gigantor – the Americanized anime version of Tetsujin 28-go – which features an incredibly large robot controlled by a 12-year-old boy by remote. The television show was on in the 60s, around the same time as Speed Racer, and it saw a mild resurgence in the 90s. This is a shrewd move by Barber who clearly wants to take control of his own directorial destiny. It’s unclear whether the gambit will work (as it depends on a studio or financier believing first in the project and second in Barber as the right director for it), but it would be unbelievably fantastic to see the giant tin can up on the big screen. It would no doubt be a tonal cousin to The Iron Giant – a movie that makes me cry just thinking about it – and it has the potential to be a major hit with kids of all ages. Plus, Gigantor is just damn cool. You can check out some of the original animation in this video (while checking out the theme song being performed by 90s alt-metal slackers Helmet):

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The best thing about the selection in Un Certain Regard is that it often throws up absolute gems of films that wouldn’t necessarily land on my radar otherwise (which is entirely the point of Cannes’ secondary competition, after all). This year, the selection hasn’t been hugely exciting (and one film even sparked the first, and hopefully only walk-out by yours truly), but in amongst the usual oblique material, little islands of enjoyment like Restless, shine even more by comparison. Now, Eric Khoo‘s animation Tatsumi can count itself among the biggest successes of this year’s Un Certain Regard alongside Gus Van Sant’s latest. The film is based on Japanese comics artist Yoshihiro Tatsumi‘s manga memoir “A Drifting Life” as well as five of his earlier short stories, using the artist’s own iconic gekiga artistic style, and a minimalist approach to animation.

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Why Watch? Because a hybrid of manga, live-action and WTF is exactly what you need to get you through the day. This outstanding short delivers a visual experience where people live inside the pages of a Japanese comic book that seems inspired by Noh Theater and little orange pills. A young girl named Junko lives with her shamisen-playing grandfather who is killed while she’s playing in the woods. Accompanied by her stop-motion fox friend, and inhabiting a stage world lorded over by a narrator and his band, Junko must find a new path at the edge of a knife. What Will It Cost? Just 10 minutes of your time. Does it get better any better than that? Check out Junko’s Shamisen for yourself:

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Imagine that there’s a book, just a binding and blank pages, that has the power to kill someone if you write their name in it and think of their face. What would you use that power for? That’s the central question of “Death Note,” the manga which will see a big screen adaptation from Kiss Kiss Bang Bang director (and writer of many great movies) Shane Black. According to Deadline Hyattsville, Warners Bros will oversee production on Death Note, and Black will get to work shepherding a script from Anthony Bagarozzi and Charles Mondry. The manga is an absolute masterpiece of storytelling – focusing on Light, a character who finds the book and chooses to use its powers to rid the world of evil. It’s exciting to see it go into production, not only because of the source material, but to see Black back in action again.

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blood_last_vampire

Can you read? Great! We’re giving away some ‘Blood’ Mangas, Novels, and a sweet movie poster. All you have to do is be mildly witty!

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death-note-1

Here’s a concept for you. A college student stumbles upon a misplaced “death note” and acquires the power to kill simply by writing a person’s name on the page while thinking of the person. How’s that for power?

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Ghost in the Shell

Masamune Shirow’s well-traveled series Ghost in the Shell has just been optioned by Dreamworks to create a 3-D live-action film. Variety reports that uber-busy Steven Speilberg snatched the project from Universal and Sony Pictures and made it a priority of his to get the film at Dreamworks.

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