Tim Burton Going Back To Mai, The Psychic Girl?

If you were haunting US comic shops in the mid to late '80s, you probably remember Manga gaining new exposure through the translation and publication of a few key titles. One was Katsuhiro Otomo's Akira, and another key step in Manga's stroll towards the mainstream was Mai, the Psychic Girl. The story of a teen schoolgirl with strong psychic powers, Mai attracted the attention of Hollywood, and a film was put into development with Tim Burton slated to direct. But things changed, and the film went by the wayside.

Now, there is a report that Burton has regained the rights to the project, which is now in the forefront of his slate.

Latino Review provides the report, written in their informant's absurd Pinche Taco voice. All it really says is that Sony originally bought the rights, and that studio head Amy Pascal recently gave the rights back to Burton. If the report is correct, there might be more to the rights exchange than that. Regardless, the report says that "Burton is supervising the screenplay and has put this on the front burner." Where does it stand with respect to Dark Shadows, the film we've believed Burton would do next? We don't know.

Mai follows the story as the title character is chased down by the Wisdom Alliance, a powerful, secret organization with aspirations to global dominance.

But there is some vague, possible confirmation that the film is at least back in play.

In October of last year, the band Sparks talked about their then-new album, The Seduction of Ingmar Bergman, which was informed in part by the members' dealings with Hollywood. One of those encounters was with Mai, development of which The Times Online reports was partially fueled by Sparks. The band has actually composed the music, and the article says the project has gained a second wind, with Sparks confirming. "The music is all ready and we are hoping that this still might see the light of day."

(More intriguing: Sparks also worked at one point with Jacques Tati on Confusion, a film that was never made.)