Mobile Suit Gundam, a long-running multimedia mech space opera, is getting a live-action movie. Netflix and Legendary announced the development of a live-action film based on the Gundam media franchise, with Jordan Vogt-Roberts in the director’s chair and Brian K. Vaughan responsible for the adaptation. Despite the Gundam project announcement, Netflix officials made no commentary about the story, keeping the Gundam movie’s narrative under wraps.
In a story covered by Polygon, Gundam is about to jump to a live-action feature film developed by Legendary Pictures (Godzilla, Kong, Pacific Rim) for Netflix streaming service. Legendary Entertainment announced their cooperation with Sunrise Inc., the franchise creators, in 2018, but very little information was disclosed since then, except for the working title. Unfortunately, apart from the new announcement by Netflix, in which they announced the movie’s director and writer, no other details were disclosed regarding the cast or the Gundam movie’s plot yet.
Nevertheless, the names, companies, and studios associated with this project seem like a perfect blend for a Gundam movie. Legendary Entertainment already produced its fair share of giant-featuring titles, including both Pacific Rim movies, Kong: Skull Island, the last two Godzilla movies, and the recent hit Godzilla vs. Kong, which annihilated the box office. Bear in mind that both Pacific Rim movies focused solely on gigantic mech battles, which is the central theme of the upcoming Gundam project. The project’s appointed director, Jordan Vogt-Roberts, is no stranger to gigantic battles, being personally responsible for the magnificent Kong: Skull Island.
The Gundam Movie’s Plot
Unfortunately, details regarding the upcoming Gundam movie are still under a dark veil at the time of this writing. The original series’s story is set in a futuristic setting, in which humanity outgrew Earth’s sustainability and sought deep-space colonization. Conflicts and wars for independence erupt between humanity’s colonies and Earth federation, which is the central narrative of Gundam‘s numerous battles, which are fought using giant mecha Mobile Suits.
Story-wise, Jordan Vogt-Roberts and Brian K. Vaughan have a wealth of material to choose from for their cinematic adaptation, given the show’s numerous spinoffs shows and movies.
Where Things Stand Now
The entire Gundam movie project is still in its pre-production phase. Vogt-Roberts is currently developing a cinematic of a popular video game franchise Metal Gear Solid. At the same time, Netflix works on another adaptation of the Sunrise Inc. anime – the Cowboy Bebop, while Vaughan’s series, the Y: The Last Man, is currently developed by FX for Hulu.
Live-action Gundam movie hasn’t got a production date at the moment of writing, with no announcements made regarding its release.
What Is Gundam?
Gundam is a Japanese military science fiction media franchise with a dab of space drama, which features giant robots called mecha, named “Gundam.” The original series, called Mobile Suit Gundam, was aired on April 7, 1979, featured powered giant robotic exoskeletons, also known as mobile suits, in a military setting. Unfortunately, the series wasn’t very popular when it first aired, prompting the series’ sponsors to cut down expenses, and cut down the series to 39 episodes from the originally scheduled 52 episodes. However, the show’s staff managed to negotiate another four episodes, ending the series with 43 episodes in total.
With Gundam show’s relatively unfavorable reception, their sponsors sought out to sell the IP’s fragments, and the copyrights to plastic models and toys for the show’s mecha landed in Bandai’s hands. The models produced by Bandai were a massive hit with their target group and sold really well, skyrocketing the show’s popularity to unprecedented heights. The Gundam series and its merchandise’s newfound popularity spawned a franchise that now includes over 50 TV series, animated films, original video animations, video games, novels, and a new series of plastic model kits. Now we’re getting a Gundam movie.
As a franchise, Gundam is credited with maturing the mecha anime genre, ranking #2 on Wizard’s Anime Top 50 Anime released in North America list, and the turning point in the genre’s history. The franchise grossed over $5 billion by 2000. By 2014, Gundam‘s annual revenue reached over $730 million due to the massive ongoing popularity of various animated titles and retail sales of hobby items and toys. Bandai Namco currently owns the franchise through its subsidiary Sunrise Inc. which is directly involved in making the announced Gundam movie, much to the fans’ content.