Astro Boy, Domu live action rights saught
The Hollywood Reporter writes that Columbia Pictures is in final negotiations with the estate of Osamu Tezuka to buy the live action motion picture rights to his 1960's manga series (and later TV show) Tetsuwan Atomu, better known as "Astro Boy." Columbia plans to remake the story as a combination live action/animatronics/computer animated film, targetted for release Christmas 2000. (Ironically, the original show took place in that year.) The film is to be produced by Don Murphy, Jane Hamsher, and Jim Henson Pictures, and would likely have animatronics from Jim Henson's Creature Shop.
Walt Disney Productions and producer Don Murphy is also in talks with a Japanese manga publisher, but this time to adapt Katsuhiro Otomo's classic manga "Domu" (currently published in America by Dark Horse/Studio Proteus). Disney's negotiation team is headed by Guillermo Del Toro (creator of Mimic).
Domu is the story of a violent feud between a young Japanese girl and a deranged old man living in her apartment block, with both of them having paranormal abilities. Some were surprised by the announcement of Disney's involvement with the projects, since they recently expressed a desire to return to live-action, family films, and Domu would almost certainly be R-rated.