STAR TREK director J.J. Abrams will be joining former Hanna-Barbera president Fred Seibert to produce a feature film version of the hit Cartoon Network animated series SAMURAI JACK. The $20 million film will use a combination of traditional cell animation and stereoscopic 3-D.
Seibert revealed the news on his blog while explaining how his company Frederator Films came to acquire rights to the series as their first film project.
SAMURAI JACK is the creation of Genndy Tartakovsky, whose other animated projects include DEXTER’S LABORATORY and STAR WARS: CLONE WARS. He also directed episodes of Craig McCracken’s THE POWERPUFF GIRLS.
The series centers on the title character (voiced by Phil LaMarr), a Japanese samurai on a quest to defeat an evil shape-shifting wizard named Aku (voiced by Mako). He is transported far into the future at the beginning of the series and discovers that Aku is now the supreme ruler of all. Jack battles Aku’s minions while attempting to discover a way to return to his own time in order to stop Aku from taking over the world.
The series originally aired from 2001 through 2004. It was widely praised by critics and viewers, in part for possessing a strong cinematic visual style that successfully drew inspiration from a variety of film genres including Spaghetti Westerns, kung fu, chambara, and sci-fi.
Animation • Samurai Jack (2011) • upcoming