I guess it's never fun to be fired, but I bet it's worse when there is a full-page press release about it. Variety reports that Colin Brady has been replaced by David Bowers to direct the feature film version of the classic manga, Astro Boy. The announcement was made by Imagi Entertainment's Co-CEO & Chief Creative Officer, Francis Kao, and there was no official reason given for the switch. It doesn't look like Imagi has really 'traded up' all that much with their choice of director. Brady was a newbie director with only one film under his belt, and Bowers' last film was Flushed Away.

Created in 1951 by "God of Manga," Osamu Tezuka, Astro Boy tells the story of a young robot boy who fights crime and technology gone wild, as well as the usual manga struggles of humanity versus technology, and of course, what it means to be human. Michael Lachance's script will focus on "a young robot with incredible powers created by a brilliant scientist in the image of the son he has lost. Unable to fulfill the grieving man's expectations, our hero embarks on a journey in search of acceptance, experiencing betrayal and a netherworld of robot gladiators, before he returns to save Metro City and reconcile with the father who had rejected him."

It's too bad that Brady won't get the chance to direct the boy in the red boots, since he seemed pretty keen on the whole thing back in November. But I wouldn't feel too bad for Brady; the visual effects master has already scored the job of directing another classic kid's tale, The Smurfs. Astro Boy is scheduled for release in 2009.