Check out the first pic from the live-action Mobile Suit Gundam.
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Netflix is taking another crack at a live-action adaptation of a beloved anime. The streaming platform revealed that their next project will be Mobile Suit Gundam. Gundam is one of the most recognizable visuals in anime, so much so that a life-size Gundam was built in Japan. This new project for Netflix will be a movie and is a remake for the 1979 anime. Jordan Vogt-Roberts will be in the director’s chair for the film. Gundam is in pre-production so there is minimal information. However, for those apprehensive of another live-action anime, a look at the first images for Gundam looks promising.
Check out the Mobile Suit Gundam concept art released by Sunrise and Legendary Pictures for the Netflix project.
For American audiences, the humanoid robot style of Mobile Suit Gundam may seem similar to Guillermo Del Toro’s robot action film Pacific Rim. The writer-director is most famous for his emotional and fantastical films such as Pan’s Labyrinth and The Shape of Water. While Pacific Rim may have seemed like a departure, it stayed true to Del Toro’s roots. A lover of anime, Del Toro relished the opportunity to put his own spin on giant robots fighting monsters. The robots are called Jaegers and the monsters are called Kaijus, the classic term for these monsters. While full of action sequences and big named actors, there was an emotional heart to the story which should come as no surprise. Previous work from the director has proven to have taken a tender hearted look at creatures audiences may view as monsters. Pacific Rim is no different. Mobile Suit Gundam does appear to look close to the robots in Pacific Rim, as audiences have pointed out. You can see one from Pacific Rim below.
Not only do Jaegers from Pacific Rim resemble the robots of Mobile Suit Gundam, but another beloved anime as well. Gundam is an archetype that is found in quite a few anime. One of the most beloved is Neon Genesis: Evangelion. Originally airing in 1995, Evangelion has been given new life as well. The show followed Shinji Ikari, the teenage pilot of Eva Unit-01. The series was short-lived and considered by many to have a rushed ending. This has been rectified with four rebuild movies, the last one airing on Amazon Prime just this year. The movies are a retelling of the original show, but showing sides of Shinji and the rest of the pilots in a different light. With the final movie, Evanglion was given the send-off it deserved from the initial iteration.
These rebuild films were animated and the creative forces behind them were Evangelion’s original creators. Since the same cannot be said for the Mobile Suit Gundam series, more care should be taken with the new film. Live-action remakes for Netflix have not been successful in the past, though there does appear to be a promising one on the horizon with Cowboy Bebop. Death Note was remade in 2017 with an all-American cast. The original creators of the anime were kind in regards to how the film turned out, but there was still a significant backlash due to the whitewashing of the film. 2017 also gave way to a live-action adaptation of Fullmetal Alchemist. While allegedly more faithful to the source material, the film still only had an IMDb rating of 5.2/10.
Mobile Suit Gundam has its work cut out for it but so far, the images look promising. While still in production, the film has no release date as of yet. But with the director of Kong: Skull Island at the helm, viewers can assume he does well with giant monsters.