A live-action Gundam movie is finally happening. Legendary Pictures has teamed with Sunrise Inc., the company in charge of the popular anime franchise, to produce the movie. The announcement was made at the Anime Expo, which just kicked off in Los Angeles. This is easily an announcement that could have been saved for San Diego Comic-Con, but dropping the news for the fans at Anime Expo seems more in line with the roots of Gundam. Plus, the news didn't get buried under an avalanche of movie trailers and other splashy headlines.
Plot details for the Gundam movie are currently being kept under wraps. There is also no director or writer attached, or at least not one that was announced, at the present time. Cale Boyter will be overseeing the production for Legendary Pictures and will be working alongside the creative team at Sunrise. For the time being, details on the project are slim but longtime fans are surely going to be very excited just to hear that this is actually in the works. Gundam seems to have a good home at Legendary, who also have another giant robot franchise in the form of Pacific Rim.
Gundam was first introduced to the world in 1979 with the anime series Mobile Suit Gundam. The original series is set in the distant Universal Century. The era sees humanity's growing population hit a point that has led people to emigrate to space colonies. Eventually, the people living in the colonies seek freedom from the control they're under. This leads to a war of independence against the people living on Earth. The show is credited with popularizing the giant robot genre. Over the years, 14 different Gundam TV shows have been produced.
In addition to the various anime, there have been manga, animated feature-length movies, video games, novels and lots of toys. Without a live-action movie to hang its hat on, Gundam managed to become a multi-billion franchise. By 2000, it had already crossed the $5 billion mark in retails sales. As such, this was destined to be turned into a movie by Hollywood eventually, and there have been attempts made in the past, but with a formal announcement made, it's actually on its way to becoming a reality now. This is the kind of property that has franchise potential written all over it. Luckily, as of right now, it looks like the studios are focusing on one movie and not getting too ahead of themselves.
Steven Spielberg included a Gundam warrior in this year's Ready Player One. That helped fuel the desire for a live-action movie and those prayers were answered promptly. There is no release date set or any firm production information for the Gundam movie at this time, as it sounds like the project is in the movie adaptation is in the relatively early stages. We'll be sure to keep you up to date as more information on the project is made available. This news comes to us courtesy of Deadline.