Director Bryan Barber, best known for directing the 2006 film, Idlewild has secured the rights to the Japanese anime favorite, Tetsujin 28-go better known to folks in the US as Gigantor. Here's what Deadline reported:
Bryan Barber, who went from helming videos for bands like Outkast to making his feature debut with the stars of that group on the 2006 Prohibition Era musical Idlewild, grew so tired of getting close and losing out on big directing jobs that he hunted and secured a film-centric property to improve his odds. After the lengthy courtship of an 86-year old voiceover artist who controlled the rights, Barber will go to his next studio meeting flanked by Gigantor, the giant flying robot star of the 60s Japanese cartoon import with a catchy theme song and a family-friendly premise. Barber controls the movie, merchandise and videogame rights, and will shop a $60 million live action film he calls Transformers meets Goonies. And guess who’ll be attached as director?
Apparently, Barber has some passion about his craft as he went all out to try and win the job to direct Hugh Jackman in Wolverine:
On Wolverine, Barber spent three weeks and $50,000 for a presentation that included motion capture, stunts, concept art, storyboards and sound design. Fox was impressed enough that it reimbursed Barber, but he didn’t get the job.
Gigantor is an American adaptation of the anime version of Tetsujin 28-go, a manga by Mitsuteru Yokoyama released in 1956. It debuted on U.S. television in 1964. As with Speed Racer, the characters' original names were altered and the original series' violence was toned down for American viewers. Originally produced in black and white, the show was colorized and revived in the 1990s.
Barber has stature within the music video industry for his ability to break out of the cliches that have dogged the music video business. Barber's videos convey a classic mood often taken from previous era hits. Barber's ability to be heard as a clear and distinct authorial voice lay in his defining a unique visual style, a postmodern style that relied heavily on the use of classic film and TV clips. For example, Barber referenced Grease in the OutKast music video Roses and the Beatles' Ed Sullivan appearance in the band's video for Hey Ya!. In the process, Barber emerged as a talent and imparted an original image to the hip-hop movement.
Barber made his feature film debut with Idlewild, a 1930s musical set in the fictional Georgia town of Idlewild (inspired by the Michigan resort town that served as a safe vacation haven for middle-class blacks in the pre-Civil Rights era ). The film starred OutKast, who produced Idlewild (album) an accompanying album.