We are getting all kinds of live-action adaptations of once-popular (or not so much) movies or series from previous decades. At times, it’s been a winning formula with a built-in fanbase around a property that wants to see it in a new light years later. This works especially well when the adaptations were originally made for kids though are now updated to appeal to the adults they’ve become. That could be happening soon again with the announcement (via Deadline) that a Robotech live-action movie is in the works and Rhys Thomas has been tapped to direct.
Robotech is based on the anime series from the 1980s that ran for 85 episodes in total. The story follows the aftermath of an alien spaceship that crash-lands in the Pacific Ocean. This proves fortuitous because humans are able to salvage the technology on the craft and use it to stave off alien invasions from other extraterrestrials. Part of this was the development of larger robots, controlled by humans which are used to protect Earth. The original Robotech series was adapted from other mecha anime series in order to make one larger story that was suitable for syndication.
It’s unclear if this new Robotech live-action movie will adhere closely to the original series or if they will pick and choose different aspects of the story in order to make an updated film. In the series, there were three different invaders over the span of the show (the Zentraedi, the Masters, and the Invid), with each story building on the one before. If there are plans for this to go full franchise, then it could be set up in a way that leads to each of the original stories. Or it could simply work as a Robotech standalone film. Really either would work on a concept level.
Rhys Thomas is coming on as director for Robotech after leading the directing teams for the Disney+ series Hawkeye in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He helmed the first two episodes of the series, “Never Meet Your Heroes” and “Hide and Seek” as well as the series finale “So This is Christmas?”. He has a number of other small-screen credits, but this trip into the Marvel Cinematic Universe was his biggest work yet. There’s a chance that Robotech is considerably bigger though, especially if Sony really gives it the budget the property deserves.
A Robotech movie has been in the works and talked about for a while now. All the way back in 2007 Warner Bros. bought the rights to develop a film, but that never came to fruition. Tobey Maguire was even attached at the time. But nothing came of this and over the next decade-plus, there were more starts and stops (and names attached) than I care to mention. It would almost be like development hell, but it really never totally into development. Now it looks like that is set to change and Robotech is finally going to get the movie fans have been waiting for since the 1980s. We should soon get more word around production and eventual release dates.