Bowers tapped for 'Astro' chair


HONG KONG -- David Bowers, who directed the award-winning animated film "Flushed Away," has been pegged by Imagi Animation Studios to direct their upcoming CG-animated feature "Astro Boy."

"I've had a lifelong affection for the original 'Astro Boy', so am looking forward to giving him the full action-adventure Hollywood treatment. His story is both emotional and spectacular, so it absolutely lends itself to the big screen," Bowers said Friday in a statement released by the company.

Based on the manga by legendary Osame Tezuka, "Astro Boy" tells the story of a robot child invented by a scientist to recreate the son he has lost. The film is set to be released in 2009 and will be distributed globally by Warner Bros. and the Weinstein Co.

Bowers comes from Dreamworks, where he worked as a story artist on "The Prince of Egypt" and "The Road to El Dorado."

His credits as an animator include such titles as "An American Tail: Fievel Goes West" and "Fern Gully: The Last Rainforest." It was during his tenure at Dreamworks that he met Nick Park and Peter Lord, leading to the production of "Flushed Away."