Just-announced at New York Comic Con is the news that Ron Howard and Brian Glazer are getting into the superhero game. Imagine Entertainment is partnering with All Nippon Entertainment Works and Namco Bandai on a live action, English-language remake of Namco Bandai’s popular anime series Tiger & Bunny.
For those who haven’t checked it out, Tiger & Bunny explores themes familiar to fans of deconstructionist takes on superheroes like Powers, Watchmen and the like (though not quite as dark as those titles get). Set in an alternate history version of New York City (called Stern Bild), 45 years earlier superpowered people referred to by the acronym NEXT began to appear. In present day many of them are superheroes, complete with corporate sponsorship and celebrity status. They’re all tracked by a super successful reality tv show that ranks heroes according to their deeds and bestows the title of “King of Heroes” on the person with the most points at the end of a given year. With that title comes more money and fame.
The series, directed by Keiichi Sato and first aired as a single 25-episode season in 2011, is something of a buddy cop formula. Veteran hero Wild Tiger, whose old fashioned code of honor means he isn’t great at showmanship, has become something of a has-been. To increase his profile he teams up with a rookie hero who has the same powers, but a much more cynical outlook. Together, they fight crime, naturally lock horns over their differences, and must eventually contend with a terrifying, homicidal vigilante calling himself Lunatic.
THe film will be produced by Grazer, Howard, ANEW’s Sandy Climan and Annmarie Bailey, and Masayuki Ozaki on behalf of Namco Bandai Pictures. Ozaki produced the original anime in Japan. Imagine President Erica Huggins will oversee the new film on behalf of Imagine Entertainment. ANEW SVP of Development and Production Annmarie Bailey worked with Ozaki and Namco Bandai Pictures/Sunrise’s international business unit to acquire the English language rights for adaptation and co-production.