The power of Gigantor is in Bryan Barber’s hand. The music video and Idlewild director grew tired of being passed over for bigger budget gigs, so he decided to buy the rights (including toys and video games) for a movie-ready concept that, according to Deadline Toyama, he’s describing as Transformers meets The Goonies.
That’s some solid math right there.
The project he’s picked is Gigantor – the Americanized anime version of Tetsujin 28-go – which features an incredibly large robot controlled by a 12-year-old boy by remote. The television show was on in the 60s, around the same time as Speed Racer, and it saw a mild resurgence in the 90s. This is a shrewd move by Barber who clearly wants to take control of his own directorial destiny. It’s unclear whether the gambit will work (as it depends on a studio or financier believing first in the project and second in Barber as the right director for it), but it would be unbelievably fantastic to see the giant tin can up on the big screen. It would no doubt be a tonal cousin to The Iron Giant – a movie that makes me cry just thinking about it – and it has the potential to be a major hit with kids of all ages.
Plus, Gigantor is just damn cool. You can check out some of the original animation in this video (while checking out the theme song being performed by 90s alt-metal slackers Helmet):
How long have I waited for an excuse to post something about Helmet on this site? Quite a while.
But seriously, this is a property ready to blossom into something really great, so hopefully Barber can achieve lift off.
What say you?