Everybody has their first exposure to anime, and for many kids in the '70s, it was Battle of the Planets, an awkwardly edited cartoon was based on the super-popular anime Science Ninja Team Gatchaman, about a group of five teens who dress like birds to thwart alien terrorists. The first footage of Japan's live-action Gatchman movie is above (with some unsubtitled interviews with the cast) and even though we don't get to see the costumes, it looks great.

Seriously, the casting looks spot-on. And the film seems to be taking itself pretty seriously — a good thing, since the original anime took itself exceedingly seriously (...for a show about people dressed like birds). The kids were all master assassins, who were chosen for the Gatchaman team because they were emotionally damaged enough that the could become the most effective — and merciless — killers (...who dressed like birds).

Gatchaman was popular enough that it spawned several sequel series and movies - and it's pretty much inspired every other color-coded five-member hero team. Based on this first footage, the series' original popularity, and Japan's current nostalgia for the '70s, I imagine the live-action Gatchaman movie's going to do pretty darn well for itself when it comes out in August.

[Via Anime News Network]