Joe and Anthony Russo might be finished with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but they aren’t drifting too far away from the world of superheroes and comics. At their SDCC panel, the siblings revealed two projects their AGBO Studios are working on: an adaptation of the anime ‘Battle of the Planets’, and an Amazon series based on First Comics’ ‘Grimjack’. The Russos will produce ‘Grimjack’, but it doesn’t appear that a format or outlet has been chosen for ‘Battle of the Planets’, although Joe Russo said:
“If we were to make it, it would be a live-action film.”
‘Battle of the Planets’ is the name more Americans know for the Japanese anime ‘Science Ninja Team Gatchaman’ which was originally produced from 1972-74, by Tatsuo Yoshida and Tatsunoko Studios. In 1978, after the success of ‘Star Wars: A New Hope’, Sandy Frank Entertainment imported it as ‘Battle of the Planets’, editing out some of the graphic violence, placing a greater emphasis on space (the original show mostly took place on Earth), and added the robot 7-Zark-7 as a narrator of sorts, whose segments were used to fill the holes left by the violence being cut out. 7-Zark-7 looked a lot like R2-D2 but acted and spoke like C-3PO.
‘Gatchaman’ featured a team of five teens who defended the Earth from the invading aliens, called Galactor. For ‘Battle of the Planets’, Ken the Eagle became Mark (voiced by Casey Kasem), Joe the Condor became Jason, Jun the Swan became Princess (as in “_____ Leia”), Ryu the Owl (the one non-orphan) became Tiny, and Jinpei the Swallow became Keyop, who in the American version, couldn’t speak. His dialogue was changed to R2-D2-like beeps and boops. These cybernetically enhanced teens carried unique weaponry and piloted super vehicles. Their main mode of transportation, the jet Phoenix, could burst into “Fiery Phoenix” mode.
The ‘Grimjack Comics’ Amazon series is being written by Kevin Murphy, the creator of ‘Defiance’, ‘Heathers the Musical’ and ‘Reefer Madness’, based on the comic book by John Ostrander and Timothy Truman, which began publication in 1983.
The Grimjack Comics… is the story of a mercenary and his crew who are forced to dig into their own pasts when Grimjack’s estranged teenage daughter comes to him looking for help. This will take them through the insane streets of Cynosure, a mysterious city where all parallel universes intersect. There, this unlikely team fights to save not just themselves, but all the planes of existence.
‘Grimjack’ was published through the ’80s, and has been reprinted since then. In 2011, was rebooted as a digital comic.
What do you think of these two projects? Which are you more interested in?