Or Battle of the Planets if you like.
I have to give it to Japan, they’ve been on the up and up lately on making live action films based on popular anime and manga. Death Note, the upcoming Rurouni kenshin, Gantz and you can now add Gatchaman to that list.
Nikkatsu, with distributor Toho, will be making Science Ninja Team Gatchaman into a reality for the first time. Toya Sato, who is probably best known as the director of the live action Grave of Fireflies film, will be directing. The script is being penned by Yūsuke Watanabe, who has written the live action Gantz film and the upcoming DragonBall Z anime film. Shinji Aramaki will be designing the characters and Takashi Yamazaki (who directed the awesome Returner) will be handling the effects.
Gatchaman has been shown in America under the banners of Battle of the Planets, Eagle Riders and G-Force and was one of the earlier mainstream animes to break out on western shores. Revolving around 5 members of a special science force that fight against international terrorism and giant robots.
Gatchaman was almost made into a full CG film by the now defunct Imagi studios, under script written by Paul Dini. Imagi went bankrupt while in production and the film is nothing more than a very, very cool promo reel. While it will lack the large budget of an American production, a Japanese produced live action film will undoubtedly hue far closer to the source material than any other adaptation tried so far. Hell, I would be surprised if the costumes are all anime accurate on the actors. Also, if Takashi Yamazaki is involved as the Special Effects director, there’s a very very strong chance that this movie is going to blow your hair to the back of the auditorium with it’s power!
The film is due out sometime next year, and I wouldn’t doubt it sees a stateside release.