From giant apes to giant robots: Filmmaker Jordan Vogt-Roberts (“Kong: Skull Island”) is set to direct and produce a live-action adaptation of wildly popular anime series “Gundam” for Legendary and Netflix, the streamer announced on Monday.
Famed comic book writer Brian K. Vaughan (“Y: The Last Man”) is writing the screenplay and will executive produce. Legendary’s Cale Boyter is overseeing the project, along with Sunrise — the Japanese animation studio behind the “Gundam” franchise. Legendary will distribute the film theatrically in China.
There is no word on what the story will be for the film, but there certainly is a wealth of material to choose from. First launched in 1979 as a TV series from Yoshiyuki Tomino, “Mobile Suit Gundam” initially struggled to gain an audience, but grew in popularity through the 1980s due to a wide proliferation of adaptations across animated feature films, novels, manga, toys, models and video games.
The original series is set in the distant future in what is known as the Universal Century, as human colonies in space fight for independence from Earth. The battles are fought largely through giant robots called Mobile Suits, and helped to popularize the wider genre of mecha anime.
Vogt-Roberts launched his feature directing career with the 2013 indie “The Kings of Summer,” which he parlayed into directing “Kong: Skull Island” for Warner Bros. and Legendary. The film grossed $168 million domestically and $566.7 million worldwide.
The filmmaker is also developing an adaptation of the popular video game franchise “Metal Gear Solid” for Sony Pictures, with Oscar Isaac attached to star, but it’s looking like “Gundam” is on track to start shooting first.
Vogt-Roberts is represented by UTA, Tom Lassally at 3 Arts Entertainment, and attorneys Andy Galker and Alan Wertheimer at Jackoway Tyerman Wertheimer Austen Mandelbaum & Morris.