'Astro Boy' saves the world with Summit


Summit Entertainment will distribute Imagi Studios' computer-animated feature "Astro Boy" worldwide outside Japan, Hong Kong and China.

Freddie Highmore voices the title character. Nicolas Cage, Donald Sutherland, Nathan Lane, Bill Nighy and Eugene Levy also have voice roles.

Osamu Tezuka's "Astro Boy" manga has been the subject of three animated TV series spanning the past four decades and is a licensed property for merchandising.

David Bowers is directing the new feature from a screenplay by Timothy Harris. Set in futuristic Metro City, "Astro Boy" tells the story of a young robot created by a scientist to replace the son he has lost. Unable to fulfill the grieving father's expectations, the robot embarks on a journey before he returns to save the city and reconcile with the man who had rejected him.

Maryann Garger is producing. A 2009 release is planned.

"Astro Boy" is Summit's second computer-animated feature from Imagi Studios, following last year's "TMNT."

Summit will release the 3-D computer-animated feature "Fly Me to the Moon" on Aug. 8. (partialdiff)