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Imagi prepares Gatchaman movie

June 8, 2006 – IMAGI Animation Studios, in association with Tatsunoko Production of Japan, will produce a new CG-animated feature-length motion picture for theatrical release based on the long-running anime franchise Gatchaman. The new film will be written and directed by Kevin Munroe, who is currently writing and directing IMAGI's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles CG-animation that is being distributed by Warner Bros. in the U.S. and The Weinstein Company internationally. The announcement was made today by Francis Kao, CEO and Vice Chairman of IMAGI International.

“We will push the wow factor to a new level with Gatchaman, a groundbreaking anime that has devoted fans worldwide, including myself,” Kao said. “With the visual impact available through state-of-the-art CG animation, I think the film not only can satisfy fans, but will also appeal to moviegoers looking for something new and exciting. I am thrilled to work on this excellent franchise with Tatsunoko.”

Gatchaman centers around five young superhero ninjas who must defeat the nefarious terrorists known as Galactor, who are threatening to capture Earth's resources. With 205 TV episodes, one feature film, and three direct-to-video films, Gatchaman has over 30 years of history. In addition to its success in Japan, the series has fans in the U.S. from various domestic re-edited versions of the show, including “Battle of the Planets,” “G-Force,” and “Eagle Riders.”

“Growing up as a kid, Gatchaman was the first influence that pushed me into the world of animation, comics and writing,” Munroe said. “I'm honored to get the chance to bring Gatchaman to the big screen the way it was always meant to be - huge action mixed with the real human drama. Gatchaman is a great next step after TMNT, in terms of storytelling and visual scope and also for IMAGI as a player in the animation world.”

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