Announced on Netflix’s official Twitter account, Kong: Skull Island director Jordan Vogt-Roberts is set to helm the live-action adaptation of Mobile Suit Gundam, the landmark sci-fi animation that pioneered Japanese anime internationally, and would spark a multi-billion dollar franchise that endures to this day.
Netflix joins Legendary Entertainment on the film, with the Kong studio already at work on the Gundam adaptation for some time now, with iconic comic book writer Brian K Vaughan writing the script. Vogt-Roberts is now set to produce and direct the film, which will presumably premiere on the streaming service.
Originally premiering in 1979, Mobile Suit Gundam was the original animated series by Yoshiyuki Tomino for Nippon Sunrise (now Sunrise Inc) chronicling the intergalactic war between the Earth Federation and the separatist Principality of Zeon. The titular Gundam, now something of a pop cultural ambassador for Japan, is the iconic “giant robot” piloted by reluctant hero Amuro Ray across the original series 43 episodes.
Later compiled into three feature films, the original Mobile Suit Gundam would spin off into dozens of features, series, video games, manga, and more, and remains arguably as influential as Star Wars in defining the space opera as we know it.
Vogt-Roberts’ involvement with the Gundam film comes in the wake of recent activity regarding his heavily-discussed (though still not locked down) Metal Gear film, adapting the legendary video game franchise created by Hideo Kojima. Last we heard, Oscar Isaac was in talks to lead the film as FOXHOUND specialist Solid Snake. If and how the Gundam film will affect the Metal Gear production timeline remains to be seen.
For my money, while I’m concerned Vogt-Roberts is being burdened with two titanic franchises, his enthusiasm for the material shines through, between the Gundam nods in his own Kong and general passion for anime and Japanese pop culture. If a live-action, American-made Gundam film must happen, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone more fit for the role. The prospect of streaming a Gundam epic at home on Netflix, though, isn’t something I’m keen on. Fingers crossed we can gear up for a big screen premiere by the time the Gundam film comes around.
Source: @NXOnNetflix on Twitter