Jordan Vogt-Roberts will direct Netflix’s live-action film adaptation of Gundam, the entertainment company announced on Monday. This will be the first live-action Hollywood feature movie version of the classic mecha franchise; although interestingly, it won’t actually be the first live-action Gundam project. (More about this later.)
Netflix’s announcement doesn’t tell us anything about the plot for the new film, although they do talk an awful lot about the original Mobile Suit Gundam anime series. (Hint, hint?)
However, they did confirm a couple of things which had already been revealed earlier. It’s been a while, so it probably bears repeating: Comic book and television writer Brian K. Vaughan will indeed write the script, as OTAQUEST’s Eddie Lehecka reported in 2019. And Legendary Entertainment will still produce. During Anime Expo 2018, Sunrise President Yasuo Miyawaka announced that Sunrise and Legendary would team up for the live-action film. Netflix’s name wasn’t attached to the project at the time.
Legendary’s films include this year’s Godzilla vs. Kong. And they also produced Kong: Skull Island, which was directed by Vogt-Roberts. As OTAQUEST’s Lachlan Johnston noted in 2018, Legendary also produced the Pacific Rim films, so they do have some experience with bringing giant mecha robots to the big screen. Bringing all of these ‘Six Degrees of Separation’ connections full circle, Netflix recently streamed their anime series Pacific Rim: The Black.
Producer Cale Boyter (Pokémon: Detective Pikachu) will oversee the project. (He was also mentioned in 2018.)
As it happens, this will not be the first live-action Gundam, and I’m not talking about the life-size Gundams which have been built in Japan. In 1999, independent film production company Polestar Entertainment produced a live-action TV movie, G-Saviour. (No, I hadn’t heard of it before today, either.) This rarity was part of Gundam’s 20th anniversary celebration. According to Wikipedia, they used Canadian actors, and then dubbed Japanese voices. I am shocked, shocked to find that the online reviews for this are generally pretty horrible.
Stay tuned, as OTAQUEST will be back with all updates on the project.