Stepping off the success of the latest Fast and Furious movie, screenplay writer Daniel Casey is set to bring the 1970s anime series Battle of the Planets to life on the big screen.
Casey is teaming up with Marvel directors Joe and Anthony Russo (The Winter Soldier, Civil War, Infinity War, Endgame) and their production company AGBO. The team will also work alongside Tatsunoko Production, the company behind the original series. The plan is that the debut movie for Battle of the Planets will expand into a franchise that will transcend other forms of media. This kicks off the plans the Russo brothers announced back in 2019 at Comic-Con.
Battle of the Planets, or Gatchaman in Japan, was the most successful anime in the U.S. in the ’70s. It opened the flood gates of sci-fi and anime to American audiences. With it hitting after-school hours, it grabbed the attention of young Americans around the country.
The story of the original Battle of the Planets followed five orphans who were trained to be an intergalactic squad known as G-Force. They protected Earth from invading alien threats. In Japan, Gatchaman ran for 105 episodes, with 85 being used for the American version.
Casey penned F9 which was a huge success considering the film is the highest-grossing movie since the pandemic hit. As of this writing, it has grossed $595 million worldwide. By the time Battle of the Planets hits theaters within the next couple of years, it should have fewer obstacles like facing COVID-19 restrictions.
Adapting Battle of the Planets for a theatrical experience continues Casey’s trajectory in his career. Before F9, he wrote 2018’s Kin, which starred Myles Truitt (Stranger Things), Jack Reynor (Midsommar), Dennis Quaid (Far from Heaven), Zoe Kravitz (Big Little Lies), and James Franco (Pineapple Express). For TV, he wrote Drone with actors Lance Reddick (John Wick), Kenneth Choi (The Wolf of Wall Street), and Sara Arrington (The Jungle Book). While working with the Russos, he is set to write Kill or Be Killed with John Wick director Chad Stahelski.
The Russo brothers made their name off of directing a handful of episodes of Community, which landed them four movies within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, including the pinnacle Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame installments that wrapped up the Infinity Saga. As they switch gears for Battle of the Planets, they had released Cherry with Tom Holland (Spider-Man: Homecoming). Prior to that, they directed 2019’s 21 Bridges with Chadwick Boseman (Black Panther), J.K. Simmons (Whiplash), and Sienna Miller (American Sniper).
AGBO is an independent production company that the Russos founded in 2017 to focus on the creativity of its artists across TV, movies, and other media. The studio has worked on movies with action flicks like Extraction and Mosul. It also was attached to last year’s horror film Relic. Currently listed on the official website, five movies are in the works with Extraction 2, Citadel, The Gray Man, The Electric State, and Everything Everywhere All at Once; soon enough, Battle of the Planets will be another project to add to the growing list of completed work.