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Imagi's Astro Boy Officially Back on Track for October

posted on by Egan Loo
US$25 million financing plan completed; all but 23 staffers return

The IMAGI studio reported on Tuesday that it has secured the US$25 million it needs to complete its computer-animated film adaptation of Osamu Tezuka's Astro Boy manga in time for the announced October 23 opening. The company had to temporarily halt its production last month because US$20 million in financing fell through late last year, and the replacement funds did not arrive until this month. The company did receive bridge funding in January to allow it to continue production until the replacement funds arrived.

According to the Daily Variety entertainment trade newspaper, President Erin Corbett of IMAGI Studios U.S. said that all but 23 of its staffers returned to the project. About 100 of the company's 120 staffers were told not to come to work during the temporary production halt last month. Chief Creative Officer Francis Kao did resign his chairmanship, and Richard Witts is assuming the job post.

The Astro Boy film features director David Bowers (Flushed Away) and scriptwriter Timothy Harris (Trading Places, Kindergarten Cop). The cast includes Freddie Highmore in the title role, Nicolas Cage, Donald Sutherland, Nathan Lane, Bill Nighy, Eugene Levy, Kristen Bell, and Matt Lucas.

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