Hey, kids! Do you like giant robots? Do you like giant robots so much that you own a collection of action figure-sized giant robot models you built yourself with kits you bought at the comic book store? Then boy, do we ever have news of an upcoming major movie that’ll soon make you feel very happy or some degree of disappointment.
As announced at the 2018 Anime Expo in Los Angeles, Sunrise and Legendary Pictures have officially pulled the trigger on a live-action Gundam movie. At the conference, Sunrise CEO Yasuo Miyakawa said they’re hashing out the details on a plot, characters, mobile suit(s), and all other associated details, but he sounded confident about the project’s prospects.
So while we don’t know anything about a cast, director, or a release date, we do have a good general idea that a Gundam movie is a thing that’s probably going to happen.
A hypothetical live action Gundam yarn comes with a unique set of possibilities and potential problems. Unlike virtually every other fantasy/sci-fi/action/whatever franchise, there’s been numerous anime series and films with completely unique sets of characters and stories produced under the “Gundam” banner since the original Mobile Suit Gundam show in 1979. So the upcoming movie doesn’t need to concern itself with being true to the source material so much, because the source material is so many different things.
But quite a bit like another anime franchise that recently underwent the Hollywood treatment, Gundam’s signature components have already been borrowed and repackaged into more recent live action franchises international audiences are, in many cases, much more familiar with. We’ve seen similar-looking gigantic armor suits and/or robots in iterations of Power Rangers, Pacific Rim, and Transformers, to name a few. So the success of a Gundam movie can’t hinge on moviegoers’ unquenched thirst for giant robots fighting on the big screen, ‘cos we’re already drunk as hell off giant robot demolition derby juice.
Unless of course they wind up making the whole movie about the Deathscythe suit from Gundam Wing. That’s an instant multi-billion dollar concept right there, I’ll say.