Classic Anime Show Getting Big Movie Adaptation, 'F9' Writer Attached

The Russo brothers' adaptation of Battle of the Planets is still on, and screenwriter Daniel Casey is on the job, according to a report by Deadline. Casey is coming off the success of F9, the latest installment of the Fast & Furious franchise. He may be just the right choice to turn the beloved anime Battle of the Planets into a new cinematic universe.

Battle of the Planets was one of the first anime franchises to achieve widespread entertainment in the U.S. in the 1970s. In Japan, it was called Science Ninja Team Gatchaman, or simply Gatchaman. Joe and Anthony Russo — the directing duo behind the last two Avengers movies — announced that they were working on a live-action adaptation of Battle of the Planets back at Comic-Con 2019. Like so many other projects, this one has been plagued by delays, but now we have a promising update about the creative team.

Casey is reportedly working with the Russo brothers through their AGBO production company not only on the script for this movie but on some foundational writing to turn Battle of the Planets into an ongoing multi-platform franchise. The team reportedly hopes to start on the big screen and move to other forms of media.

Casey is reportedly working closely with Tatsunoko Productions, the animation studio that created the original Battle of the Planets anime, to ensure that the adaptation is faithful and authentic. Tatsunoko was created by Tatsuo Yoshida and his brothers specifically to adapt Battle of the Planets, which began as a manga written and illustrated by Yoshida.

Battle of the Planets follows a team of five orphans trained from a young age to form an elite intergalactic military squad called the G-Force. They are sworn to protect Earth and its allies from otherworldly invading forces. The show was one of the first anime series to achieve widespread success in the U.S. when it aired in the hours after school typically ended throughout the late 1970s and early 1980s.

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Battle of the Planets is unique among anime since it was not translated so much as adapted. According to Frenchy Lunning's book Fanthropologies, the American studio that got the rights to Gatchaman did not translate the Japanese dialogue. Instead, American writers were hired to write new dialogue to fit the existing animated scenes. Many sequences were taken out to avoid controversy from parents as well, including graphic violence and profanity.

The result is a relatively similar but still different story set to the same visual beats. Battle of the Planets is beloved by anime aficionados in the U.S. to this day. There is no telling when the new adaptation will go into production or when it will premiere.