Back in the late 2000s, Imagi Animation studios started working on a CGI-animated Gatchaman feature, which was to be released with Warner Bros. They even created the trailer (at the link above). For whatever reason, though, the movie was cancelled, and no one spoke of it ever again.
Until now, really. Earlier this summer, previous IMAGI Head of Layout and DP Adam Holmes uploaded a few pieces of animation from the defunct Gatchaman project, in various stages of production. ...
The Animation Guild organized Imagi eight years ago without a shot being fired. The Hong Kong company set up a satellite studio in Sherman Oaks, looking to hire a bunch of top-notch board artists and designers from California. But they quickly discovered that if they didn't sign a TAG contract, they weren't going to get the quality of staff they desired. So a contract was negotiated, and hesto presto! We had another signator animation studio in the San Fernando Valley.
Imagi ramped up production on several features, but Gatchaman was the first feature to be boarded at the new facility. (Astroboy was the first feature released, Gatchaman the maiden project.)
I used to go to Imagi at its Sherman Oaks Galleria location and kibitz with the story crews. I soon found out that Gatchaman was a complicated picture, and that management wasn't tying down the direction that it wanted to go. This proved frustrating for employees. A talented development crew made multiple passes on the 84-minute feature, but the mother studio could never make up its collective mind regarding story, and so Gatchaman was placed further back on the release slate.
Astroboy, another picture being boarded and designed, was judged by higher-ups to have more commercial potential, and so was pushed to the front of the line. The studio kept hiring; at Imagi's peak, there were three (maybe four) features in work and over 100 staffers. But the only feature to make it all the way to general release was Astro Boy.
When that movie flamed out at the box office, the studio cut its losses by shutting down its Valley outpost and relocating both story development and animation to Hong Kong.
After AB, Imagi made no other features. The failure of its first independent movie, coupled with the financial meltdown of 2008-2009, led to the closing of the studio. But for one brief moment in the middle of the Valley, Imagi dreamed big as it boarded and developed Gatchaman. (And a fragment of the results can be viewed at the link up above.)
Sorry it never happened.