Stop me if you’ve heard this one. The Gundam franchise is once again starting a trek towards the silver screen. At Anime Expo 2018, the movie studio Legendary has released information about their new team-up with Sunrise.
…And yes, they have declared their intentions to make the first ever live action Gundam film.
I know we have all heard this rumor before, but this one has big brand names behind it. There is very little information on the project as a whole, but they have released a minor synopsis.
The original Gundam series is set in the Universal Century, an era in which humanity’s growing population has led people to emigrate to space colonies. Eventually, the people living in the colonies seek their autonomy, and launch a war of independence against the people living on Earth. Through the tragedies and discord arising from this human conflict, not only the maturation of the main character, but also the intentions of enemies and the surrounding people are sensitively depicted.
It looks like the setting of ‘Universal Century,’ is a good choice because so much of the Gundam canon already takes place there. Somehow, Gundam has never become a live-action film before. It is by far the most popular form of anime to make it across the world. If this actually makes it all the way to completion, it has a lot of pressure to meet fan expectation. I mean… we’ve talked a lot about how it could be the first successful anime adaptation.
Hollywood has already made plenty of giant robot movies, some of them better than others, but it looks like even the Transformers franchise is learning that loud big movies don’t always become good ones. If you’ve seen the Bumblebee trailer, then you would know it looks much more Iron Giant than robot slug fest.
A proper Gundam movie could succeed where the others have failed by capturing the Japanese aesthetic.
Both of the Transformers and Pacific Rim films have a very American feel with their sense of humor and over-the-top action.
In theory, a live action Gundam flick would be less for children and have more of an edge. I don’t know if they could pull off an R-rating, but a lot of the original anime would be considered for a mature audience today.
Who knows how the rest of this will work out, but dammit I’m excited.