Legendary Pictures will co-produce a live-action adaptation of the mecha anime franchise “Gundam” with series owners Sunrise, the two companies announced at Anime Expo in Los Angeles on Thursday.
Launched in 1979 with the acclaimed anime TV series “Mobile Suit Gundam,” the “Gundam” series is credited with popularizing the giant robot genre that has continued with series like “Gurren Lagann” and “Neon Genesis Evangelion.” Over the past thirty years, “Gundam” has produced 14 TV series, as well as several spin-offs, home video films, and dozens of manga and video games.”Gundam” has also inspired films like Guillermo Del Toro’s “Pacific Rim” and was featured prominently in the climax of Steven Spielberg’s “Ready Player One.”
The original “Mobile Suit Gundam” 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 Earth.
While previous mecha anime shows treated the robots and their pilots like superheroes, the pilots in “Gundam” were merely soldiers in this ongoing war, and their robots were the weapons through which the war was waged. The protagonist, Amuro Ray, is a mechanic who takes over a Gundam in a desperate attempt to protect himself during a surprise attack on his colony, flinging himself into the war after a captain from the Earth Federation sees his skill with the machine.
The project will be overseen by Cale Boyter on behalf of Legendary with the Sunrise creative team. Legendary’s next film, Dwayne Johnson’s “Skyscraper,” will be released by Universal next weekend. The studio is also developing “Godzilla: King of Monsters” and “Detective Pikachu,” two films also based on Japanese franchises, for release in 2019.