Now that San Diego Comic-Con is out of the way, many of us are turning our attention to the next big date on the geek calendar, Disney’s D23 this August 9-11 in Anaheim. Pundits expect big news from J.J. Abrams and the Star Wars: Episode VII camp. The latest rumors in that arena have Ryan Gosling and Zac Effron up for roles in the new trilogy. While I have some definite feelings on that issue, there is another bit of information contained in this report that piques my interest, and that news involves Leonardo DiCaprio and Robotech.
Latino Review reports that DiCaprio was up for a role in the upcoming additions to the Star Wars films—it wasn’t specified whether it would be a one off, or for the entire trilogy—but he passed. You may ask yourself how can anyone, let alone a young man of his generation, who came of age in the midst of Star Wars becoming perhaps the biggest pop culture institution of all time, skip out on such an opportunity? The answer sounds pretty straight forward. He apparently wants to participate in another project currently in development, and that project is god damn Robotech.
For those of you not familiar with Robotech, it is a classic Japanese anime series. In reality, it is encompasses so much more than that. There are multiple cartoon series, movies, games, novels, comics, and more. It’s a sprawling, expansive world, and one of the first anime to air in the US. The basic premise is that there are giant mechs created using technology from a wrecked alien spacecraft, are employed to fend off alien invaders. If you say to yourself, that sounds suspiciously like story elements from Pacific Rim, then you are very astute, Grasshopper. Guillermo del Toro’s latest adventure owes a great debt, both aesthetically and story wise, to predecessors like Robotech.
A Robotech movie has been in the works seemingly forever, at least since 2007, with names like Lawrence Kasdan (The Empire Strikes Back) attached to write the script. The last we heard was back in January when commercial director Nic Mathieu became the first director attached to take the helm. I honestly have no idea if he is still on board, or if there has been any movement at all, and there is little concrete news about the status of the film otherwise.
Still, this seems like as good a time as any to kicks a Robotech adaptation into high gear. Pacific Rim is doing okay at the box office—at least it’s in people’s minds. And if a star the size and caliber of DiCaprio is circling the proceedings, there must be at least some meat to this story. He must at least have a hope that there’s a chance that someday, somewhere, perhaps this movie might actually get made.