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SDCC: New "Afro Samurai" Details Revealed

At the San Diego Comic-Con on Friday, new details were revealed about the upcoming Afro Samurai anime starring Samuel L. Jackson. The series, slated to run on Spike TV, will be five episodes long, although there may be more episodes if it does well. Each of the five episodes had a budget of over $1 million. Because the series is being made with Japanese television in mind, the uncut version of each episode will be 25 minutes long. Spike TV will be cutting three minutes out of each episode though for an American television run time of 22 minutes. While the episode length is being made with Japanese television in mind, this will be Gonzo’s first anime made initially for an English language audience. Thus, it will subsequently be dubbed into Japanese.

Besides the television broadcast, Funimation will be bringing Afro Samurai to DVD in the first or second quarter of 2007. Additionally, there will be a release of the series’ soundtrack which will include the score by RZA and also feature Big Daddy Kain, Q-Tip and Samuel L. Jackson. A 300-page manga version of the anime is also in the works from Afro Samurai creator Takashi Okazaki, although there is no publisher yet. The fall of 2007 will see more related productions, with a video game release by Namco for the PS3 and XBox 360. Finally, in an attempt to spread the Afro Samurai franchise throughout all media, a live-action movie version starring Samuel L. Jackson is also in the works. Batman Begins director Christopher Nolan was said to be involved to some extent.

A new trailer for Afro Samurai was additionally revealed at the panel which will be available at the official website on Monday.

[On-site reporting by Karl Olson]

Toon Zone’s coverage live from the San Diego Comic-Con will continue throughout the weekend.

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