Imagi Unveils Gatchaman

By Butterboom Writers  /  March 22, 2007

The new CGI-film is showcased in Hong Kong.

gatchaman.jpg

We attended the 2007 Digital Entertainment Leadership Forum today in Hong Kong (part of the annual Filmart Expo in Hong Kong) and while it was interesting as a whole the real excitement came in the form of Imagi‘s Executive Vice President of Development Paul Wang‘s unveiling of a 2-minute trailer for their upcoming Gatchaman theatrical movie. We thought this extremely timely with their TMNT ready to explode onto worldwide screens this weekend.

We didn’t film it. Ok? Sorry! But what we saw will melt all your minds. After you see, and are blown away by, TMNT this weekend in the US (next weekend in Hong Kong) the first teen/young-adult mass market action CGI movie (and trust us, it will hit #1 this weekend but higher than Box Office Derby’s estimates. We’d wager 50% higher.) you will be “oohing” and “ahhing” over this amazing interpretation on the famous comic Turtles, but you will soil yourselves when you see what Imagi has in store for everyone’s favorite Science Ninja Team.

OK lets see how good my memory is (and I will use Battle of the Planets names, since those are the names I grew up with):

The trailer/teaser begins with a shot of the city at night, we see a lone figure standing on a protruding ledge of the highest building. He jumps. Head first, and then sails down the side of the building.

The camera twists from following him down, to the looking up at him as he is literally swan diving down the side of this tall building. He pulls out his wrist to show off the famous “G” watch and then with light emitting from the watch the costume of Mark melts (or “transmutes”) onto him as he then begins to runs down the side of the building before kicking off, sailing through the air, goes through the opening of a helicoptor side doors and crashes through a window in another building where the Galactor army group start shooting at him.

He throws his famous boomerang, and it flips around and whacks all the Spectra bad guys’ in the face before it freezes for a second on Mark‘s face 300 style, before it then continues with the manic action.

Another figure enters the frame and its Jason and he uses his gun to force-blast some Spectra minions into the walls.

Then we cut to the building stairwell where the Spectra guys are running up the stairs to the roof, but then one of them spots a bomb on the side of the stairs which goes off and then being pulled up through the smoke and fire like Batman is Princess – who also gets a freeze-frame with a wink and a 2-finger salute.

The camera then cuts to the roof and we see Tiny lifting and throwing the bad guys around. He is in his classic green suit but the camera is at medium length so we can now see more of the the detail on the suit. It looks like a mix between the classic outfit and the redesign from the OVA with alot of Batman Begins armor textured pieces. But it still looks awesome, for all you purists out there (Yes, I’m looking at you Alex Ross).

The next shot we see Keeyop bouncing up and whacking a bunch of the bad guys in the head before it freeze-frames on him in a typical Keeyop pose.

The team assembles together on the roof for the cool team shot and a face off against a lead Spectra bad guy – nope not Zoltar – but the reveal is, that there is some giant ship behind him being pulled in as a reinforcement against Gatchaman.

Looks like our heroes are outgunned until the coup-de-grace shows up as the Phoenix (Or God Phoenix) pulls up and the camera pulls back to a Mexican stand-off type shot. The Gatchaman “G” zooms in and reveals the full title: “GATCHAMAN”

That is all we could remember before soiling ourselves. Absolutely incredible and gorgeous and we cannot believe how cool this looks NOT coming from Japan. The Imagi people have proven that Hong Kong talent can straddle East and West sensibilities and can produce a piece of entertainment that will succeed across the globe.

Its no doubt from this blogger, as well as the hardcore veterans from Hollywood (including the founders of Digital Domain and Rainmaker) that attended today’s seminar that Imagi will be a Pixar-sized powerhouse for Asia – with some help from ex-Hollywood players too, of course.

They did show some Astro Boy conceptual art with a date of Summer 2009. So it would seem that Gatchaman is next, for a possible 2008 release and Astro Boy will follow.

All in all – while we have not yet scored any press passes to TMNT that will have a pre-screen here in Hong Kong on Friday, it’s a good day for CG movies and if TMNT does well, hopefully we’ll see more mature CG animated films albeit anthropomorphic ones.

UPDATE JULY 4, 2008
We just received this image that comes from an Imagi sell-sheet for the Gatchaman licensing company. Looks quite awesome:

gatchman2008.jpg

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