Fresh from the Russo Brothers’ Comic-Con panel, moderated by our own Steve Weintraub, comes word that the pair has acquired the rights to adapt Battle of the Planets for the big screen. And while Joe and Anthony Russo will be producing the adaptation, itself an Americanized version of the Japanese anime Science Ninja Team Gatchaman, there’s every possibility that they might also be directing it. That’s huge. And for a series with over 100 episodes in its original run, it’s a title that’s got franchise potential written all over it.
If you had a chance to check out the panel in person, you may have noticed that Anthony was rocking a vintage Battle of the Planets tee. Clearly the MCU super-duo are fans of the original early 70s series from creator Tatsuo Yoshida and Tatsunoko Studios. Gatchaman, and its late 70s Americanized counterpart, followed a team of heroes who protected Earth from alien threats. Battle of the Planets kept most of Gatchaman intact, except for a few parent-pleasing edits that cut back on the violence, profanity, and the like, but it still stands as one of the first anime series to make it into the mainstream media in 1970s America. And relatively soon, it’ll be introduced to a whole new generation.
Here’s the logline from the original adaptation, followed by the first official look at the new project’s logo:
Battle of the Planets follows five young orphans trained from a young age to form an elite, intergalactic team known as G-Force, swearing to protect Earth and its allies from otherworldly invading forces.
If you aren’t familiar with Battle of the Planets, words alone don’t really do it justice. This Earth-defense anime is incredibly stylish: The G-Force team wear thigh-high boots, bird-like capes that can act as parachutes and wingsuits, and bird-like helmets/visors that just looked pretty damn cool. They make for a super-colorful team and I’d love to see them come to life on the big screen, just as I’d love to see vehicles like the impressive Phoenix (and its Deus ex machina transformation into the Fiery Phoenix) and the detachable craft it carried get a chance to spread their wings in theaters everywhere.
This could very well be the start to seeing classic 70s and 80s anime properties getting a resurgence and semi-serious treatment on the big screen, but many adaptations of this particular title have started and stopped over the years. Fingers crossed that this one’s the beginning of a beautiful new trend.