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OutKast Video Director to Pitch Gigantor/Tetsujin 28 Film

posted on by Daryl Bunao
Hip hop music video director Bryan Barber obtains rights to iconic anime robot

Troubled by the lack of film work since his debut, hip hop music video director Bryan Barber is taking his skills in a new direction by pitching a US$60-million live-action movie based on the classic robot anime Gigantor (Tetsujin 28-go).

On Thursday, the entertainment website Deadline profiled Barber's path up to this point, including his meeting with 86-year old voiceover talent Fred Ladd. The voice-acting veteran controlled the North American licensing rights to the 1960s anime series, and Barber successfully negotiated with Ladd for the movie, merchandise, and video game rights. Barber said that he grew up watching Gigantor after coming home from school.

Barber, 41, has directed a number of music videos for mainstream hip hop artists such as OutKast ("So Fresh, So Clean," "Hey Ya"), The Game ("My Life ft/ Lil' Wayne") and most recently Llyod's "Dedication to My Ex ft/ Andre 3000." In 2006, Barber directed the movie Idlewild, a Prohibition-era musical featuring OutKast, but it received average reviews and made just over US$12 million.

After Idlewild, Barber spent US$50,000 to pitch his concept of a Wolverine film to Fox. Despite Barber's elaborate presentation with "motion capture, stunts, concept art, storyboards, and sound design," Fox went in another direction. (The studio reimbursed Barber for his presentation costs.) Barber explained his decision to pursue Gigantor next: "I decided, if I was willing to invest my money to gamble on a project I didn't own, why not spend that money on something I could control?”

Originally titled Tetsujin 28-go, Gigantor is the American localized name of the anime adapted from Mitsuteru Yokoyama's 1956-1966 robot manga series. The series follows the story of boy detective Jimmy Sparks (Shōtarō Kaneda in Japan) and Gigantor, a super robot developed by Jimmy's father and was handed down to Jimmy. With a remote control, Jimmy uses Gigantor to protect the world.

Thanks to Daniel Zelter for the news tip.

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