Back in February, we reported that Warner Bros.' Robotech is getting back on the right track, with screenwriter Michael Gordon coming aboard to write the script and Hollywood Gang's Gianni Nunnari and Mark Canton set to produce. Variety now reports that, while the screenwriters and producers are still in place, the live-action project is now moving forward at Sony Pictures, with the studio planning a franchise. The studio will start production soon as the project goes on the fast track, although a director has not been attached yet. Our report from February indicated that Warner Bros.' top choice to direct was Andres Muschietti, but it isn't known if he is involved now.
The project is based on the 1980s Robotech animated TV series, which is set in world where humanity has developed massive robots from the technology found in an alien ship that crash landed on Earth. The planet is forced to fend off three alien attacks using this technology. The first invasion revolves around a battle with giant warriors who are trying to retreive their ship's energy source known as "protoculture," as the fate of the entire planet falls on the shoulders of two young pilots. The project is described as having an "Independence Day meets Star Wars vibe," with the kind of global appeal that is ripe for a big screen franchise.
The original Robotech series was based on a number of popular Japanese TV shows, with the property later spawning books, role playing games, video games, toys and collectibles. The project will be overseen by Sony Pictures Entertainment Group President Doug Belgrad, Columbia Pictures Production Chief Michael De Luca, and Sony Pictures Vice President of Creative ProductionMatthew Milam. Here's what Michael De Luca had to say in a statement.
"Robotech is unique in that it has always been a marriage of spectacle with human characters that seem drawn from life. That's why we are so excited to be working with Mark and Gianni as we move forward on this project. With a history that offers an epic love triangle, a renegade hero, and a world on the brink of extinction, Robotech offers a wide scope and a rich and impressive universe where the story possibilities are endless."
Warner Bros. originally held the rights, with Tobey Maguire and Akiva Goldsman initially set to produce. The project attracted the interest of Leonardo DiCaprio and Nic Mathieu, but it never moved forward and the rights eventually lapsed. Producers Gianni Nunnari and Mark Canton picked up the rights after seeing the potential for a massive franchise. Here's what Gianni Nunnari had to say in his statement.
"When the rights to Robotech became available we jumped; Mark and I knew it had what big movies in today's world must have if they want to grab everyone: insane visuals and powerful themes. The characters in Robotech wrestle with both the destructive and redemptive powers of technology; nothing is more relevant today than that."
Frank Agrama of Harmony Gold, which is the original intellectual property rights holder, is set to executive produce with screenwriter Michael Gordon and Jehan Agrama. What do you think about Robotech finally moving forward? Let us know what you think below.