The classic Tatsunoko Productions science-fiction hero anime Science Ninja Team Gatchaman is getting a live-action film adaptation from the production company Nikkatsu and the distributor TOHO next summer. Director Toya Sato (live-action Grave of the Fireflies, Sexy Voice and Robo, Kaiji, Gokusen) will begin shooting the film on October 15. Yūsuke Watanabe (20th Century Boys, Gantz, Bloody Monday, 2013 Dragon Ball Z film) wrote the script, and Shinji Aramaki (Appleseed films) is designing the characters.
Tori Matsuzaka (.hack//The Movie, live-action Kyō, Koi o Hajimemasu, Samurai Sentai Shinkenger, Kamen Rider Decade) will star as Ken, the head of the eponymous team. Gō Ayano (second-in-command Jō), Ayame Gōriki (explosive yoyo-wielding Jun), Tatsuomi Hamada (youngest member Jinpei), and Ryōhei Suzuki (main pilot Ryū) round out the cast.
The five serve as agents of the International Science Organization in Tokyo in the near future. Galactor, a mysterious group whose technology far surpasses that of humans, has declared war on the entire world and has already subjugated half of it. Dr. Nanbu has assembled these five young heroes as humanity's last hope.
Takashi Yamazaki (Juvenile, Returner, Always: Sunset on Third Street, Ballad, Space Battleship Yamato, Friends: Mononoke Shima no Naki) is handling the visual effects. The film will have more CG cuts than Yatterman (1,300) and Gantz (1,000 between the two films).
The first Gatchaman anime premiered in October of 1972 and earned an average rating of 21%. It was only planned for two quarters (kūru or cours) of a year, but was extended to two full years and 105 episodes. It has since spawned anime films as well as later television and video series.