After years of development hell with Warner Bros., Sony is taking over production reins and moving forward with a big screen, live-action adaptation of Robotech, a popular animated TV show that aired in the United States in 1985.
Robotech will chronicle three generations of humans and the giant transformable robots they pilot as they defend earth from an alien invasion.
James Wan (The Conjuring, Furious 7) has agreed to direct the live-action adaptation, but as THR adds: with Wan not being free until next spring, after he completes The Conjuring 2, and with Aquaman already having a 2018 release date, one imagines the superhero pic will be first on deck.
The original Robotech was made up of three, unrelated anime series by Japan’s Tatsunoko Productions, Studio Nue and Big West: 1982’s Super Dimension Fortress Macross, 1984’s Super Dimension Cavalry Southern Cross and 1983’s Genesis Climber Mospeada.
The three series were then dubbed into English, given an altered storyline – to act as one complete timeline – and an entirely new soundtrack by Harmony Gold USA. The result was Robotech, which became one of the first titles responsible for igniting anime fandom in America. Unlike most cartoons airing in America, Robotech’s core values dealt with love, death, war, peace, insecurities and even interracial relationships.
The idea of a live-action Robotech movie dates back to 2008. At the time, Tobey Maguire was set to produce and Lawrence Kasdan (The Empire Strikes Back) was brought on board to write. There were also rumors that Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street) was in talks to play one of the lead characters. Somewhere along the way, Maguire lost interest, Kasdan went on to scribe Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens and the idea of a live-action Robotech was shelved indefinitely.
At one point, Andy Muschietti, who helmed the 2013 Spanish-Canadian horror film, Mama, was eyed to direct. Nic Mathieu (Spectral) was also considered.
We’ll keep you updated on Robotech as we hear more. Stay tuned!
Updates: In a recent interview with Forbes, Shoji Kawamori, one of the original creators of Super Dimension Fortress Macross, had this to say: “As for the recently announced live action Robotech movie, I welcome the opportunity to work on it but that request has yet to come… as the original creator of Macross I do find that quite disappointing. I should be at least contacted really. However, it might be that they are still too early on in production to contact the original designer and one of its authors.” Due to the legal situation of Harmony Gold’s license to Macross, Kawamori was unable to divulge too much. He also added that back in 1992, he was approached for a Hollywood-made live-action movie. Kawamori’s proposed movie treatment can be downloaded here (via Macrossworld). Also, a new “Robotech Live Action” announcement video has emerged from the Robotech panel at Katsucon 2016.