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New movie from Katsuhiro Otomo and Rin Taro

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The latest anime feature film from Katsuhiro Otomo (Akira) and Rintaro (X), Metropolis, will be released theatrically in Japan sometime in 2001.

Metropolis, which took five years to make and cost $10 million is based on the 1949 manga by Osamu Tezuka (Astro Boy, Kimba the White Lion). Otomo, who was the creative force behind Memories and Perfect Blue, wrote the script based Tezuka's manga.

Rintaro (Final Fantasy, Galaxy Express 999) directed, aided by animation director Yasuhiro Nakura and composer Toshiyuki Honda.

Metropolis follows the life of Kenichi, a human boy; Tima, a mechanical man; and a gender-neutral robot (which was the basis for Astro Boy). The three live in a society divided between the elite "Upperground" and the corrupt "Underground." Metropolis will combine advanced digital anime and Japanese-style cel animation.

The production is slated to be completed by the end of this year, and the movie will be distributed by TOHO in Japan and through Sony Pictures worldwide in 2001.

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