It has been well over a year since Netflix, along with Legendary Entertainment, announced that they were working on the live-action Mobile Suit Gundam movie. The film is based on the Gundam franchise, a long-running multimedia mech space opera, that will see Jordan Vogt-Roberts (Kings of Summer, Kong: Skull Island) sitting in the director’s chair overseeing Brian K. Vaughan’s (Y: The Last Man, Saga) script. Since the time of the announcement, not much else has been seen or heard about the project, so let’s see how we got here.
A GUNDAM MOVIE WAS ANNOUNCED IN 2021 BY LEGENDARY
In a story covered by Polygon back in April 2021, Gundam was to jump into live-action feature film territory as Legendary Pictures (Godzilla, Kong, Pacific Rim) was developing the film for Netflix’s streaming service. Legendary Entertainment announced its cooperation with Sunrise Inc., the franchise creators, in 2018, but very little information has been disclosed since then, except for the working title. Unfortunately, apart from the new announcement by Netflix, in which they announced both Vogt-Roberts and Vaughan, 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.
SEE SOME OF THE METAL SUIT GUNDAM LIVE-ACTION CONCEPT ART
New concept art shows off what they’re planning for the live-action show. Some have been comparing the new look to Pacific Rim.
THE PLOT DETAILS ARE BEING KEPT UNDER WRAPS
Unfortunately, details regarding the upcoming Gundam movie are still under a dark veil as there have been no recent updates on the film’s status. 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 spinoff shows and movies.
THE MOVIE IS STILL IN PRE-PRODUCTION
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. The live-action Gundam movie hasn’t got a production date at the moment of writing, with no announcements made regarding its release.
IT IS A JAPANESE SCIENCE FICTION MEDIA FRANCHISE
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, and 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’s 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 the Gundam show’s relatively unfavorable reception, their sponsors sought 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 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.
THERE IS NO OFFICIAL RELEASE DATE FOR THE LIVE-ACTION GUNDAM MOVIE
As of November 2022, there had been no official release date announced for Gundam and, with so little other information released thus far about the Gundam movie, it’s almost impossible to guess exactly when it could drop. There have been no casting or filming announcements. Considering that, the chances of a 2023 release seem unlikely, so the earliest we may see a Gundam live-action film would be 2024.
The one piece of good news is that the only other project that director Jordan Vogt-Roberts is currently listed as being involved in is the Metal Gear Solid adaptation. But as far as which project is first on the director’s to-do list, your guess is as good as ours.
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