I didn’t watch a whole lot of Astro Boy in my youth, so you’ll forgive me if I can’t remember what the little bastard sounded like. Kinda like a girl, right? Definitely not British.
So here’s where the Astro Boy purists get all up in arms over the voice casting of everyone’s favorite pint-sized Brit* Freddie Highmore as Osamu Tezuka’s robot laddie who travels the galaxy in his underwear. (Seriously, the only reason this movie isn’t being done live-action is because shooting a twelve-year-old kid in that costume would land you in jail.) I mean, if they can’t do the proper thing and release a subtitled version, the least they could do is honor animation’s gender-bending tradition and have him voiced by a thirty-five-year-old woman.
While the fans may go ballistic, David Bowers, who’s directing the CG revamp of the Tezuka’s Pinocchio-inspired series, is overjoyed with the casting: “It’s terrific that Freddie has agreed to play Astro. He’s a remarkably skilled young actor, whose freshness and vitality make him perfect for the role. AstroBoy is a beloved superhero and has captured hearts around the globe for more than 50 years. I can’t wait to see where Freddie takes him.”
The film is budgeted at a modest $50 million, and was written by Timothy Harris, whose last animated effort was Space Jam. But before you have a laugh over the man’s, um, “recent” filmography (Pure Luck, Kindergarten Cop, My Stepmother Is an Alien), keep in mind that he co-wrote Trading Places. It’s been a rough (and lucrative) twenty-five year stumble.
Astro Boy is slated for release in 2009. Warner Brothers and The Weinstein Company will distribute.
*Aside from Edgar Wright.
When filming “I Love Lucy” producers used tactics to make Ethel, Lucy’s foil, uglier on screen than she was in real life. This was done to put the focus on Lucy. A similar tactic seems to have been used in 2020’s Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn, by not giving any of the supporting actresses … Continue reading — By Sushi-X