Gonzo has announced the creation of a theatrical film version of the five-part Afro Samurai anime series that will include new footage created especially for the feature version.  The Afro Samurai anime series, which featured the vocal talents of Samuel L. Jackson, Ron Perlman, and Kelly Hu along with a hip hop score by RZA, debuted on the Spike TV network in January and was shown in Japan on WOWWOW in May.  The feature film version is slated to debut at the Cinema Rise theater in Shibuya on October 27th and will be shown in select theaters across Japan.


Re-editing anime series into feature films is hardly new -- each season of the Ghost in Shell: Stand Alone Complex anime has been re-configured into features with some success.  The fact that Afro Samurai is a much shorter series should make the task easier, and given the sales success of anime features versus anime series, the Afro Samurai movie could potentially give FUNimation (the property's U.S. licensor) a lower-prized SKU with which to attack the market again in 2008.  The complete 5-episodeAfro Samurai series, which was available in two versions, has been one of the best-selling anime series of 2007.