On Monday, April 13, Netflix announced plans for a live-action Gundam film. As of now, Kong: Skull Island director, Jordan Vogt-Roberts, is set to direct. The film will be a joint collaboration between Sunrise Inc, the original studio behind Gundam, and Legendary Entertainment, who is just finishing up a successful run at the box office with Godzilla vs. Kong.
The script is being written by Brian K. Vaughan, a writer who has won numerous awards for his comic book works such as Y: The Last Man and Paper Girls which is also getting a series adaptation.
On April 14, Sunrise Inc. made an official announcement from their Twitter page and also provided a teaser poster of the project. While no details of the plot are certain, the poster appears to be a picture of Earth and could likely be the setting of the story. In past Gundam iterations, settings such as space colonies or Mars have also been used. More information is expected to be released as the project continues development.
Co-Production of the GUNDAM LIVE ACTION MOVIE has begun.
SUNRISE x LEGENDARY / Directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts
To be released on NETFLIX. Stay tuned! pic.twitter.com/ub1iekr4CV
— SUNRISE INC. (@SUNRISEINC7) April 13, 2021
Gundam is a pioneer of the mecha anime genre. It helped to popularize “real robot” anime which incorporated realistic technology and concepts to make its giant robots seem more grounded in reality and believable. Currently, the plot of the adaptation is unknown, but screenwriter Brian Vaughan should have plenty of original material to use as a reference.
Gundam first began in 1979, and during its long history, the series has created dozens of original stories adapted through anime series, manga, novels, video games, toys, and more. Gundam‘s original story takes place in the future when a growing population has led humans to settle in space colonies. These colonies eventually seek their independence from Earth, leading to a war fought by pilotable robots known as mobile suits.
Despite the many different adaptations of Gundam over the years, several themes have made frequent appearances throughout the series. For example, a gap in social class that leads to a conflict between a bureaucratic, wealthy class and a poorer class is a common trope within Gundam stories. With Gundam‘s creators at Sunrise Inc. also at the helm of this project, seeing a similar plot in the live-action adaptation would not be unexpected.
If anything is to be expected from this live-action movie, it is that the giant mobile suits will look amazing. Legendary Entertainment is no stranger to adapting larger-than-life creations and if their track record of films like Pacific Rim, Godzilla, and Kong: Skull Island is any indication, there is a lot to look forward to visually.
Christian Dakin is a south Georgia-born writer, game director, and translator currently based out of Tokyo, Japan. He studied in Japan for a year in college before returning again for work. Christian enjoys studying Japanese and outdoors. In his off time, he is most likely to be found adventuring to a castle, belting it out in karaoke with friends, or in a gym somewhere.