‘Robotech’ goes back to its (or IT’s) once considered director

"The Super Dimension Fortress Macross" Japanese DVD Cover

“The Super Dimension Fortress Macross” Japanese DVD Cover

After years of development hell with Warner Bros., Sony is taking over production reins and moving forward – slowly but surely – 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.

Previously, James Wan (The Conjuring, Furious 7) and Nic Mathieu (Spectral) were attached to direct, but now Robotech has bounced back to the hands of Andy Muschietti, who was previously connected to the project before Wan’s name was thrown into the mix.

Muschietti is best known for 2013′ Mama and the upcoming film version of Stephen King’s It. Muschietti’s creative partner Barbara Muschietti (co-writer of Mama) will join Gianni Nunnari (300: Rise of an Empire) and Mark Canton (Escape Plan) in producing the project (via THR).

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.

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.

We’ll keep you updated on Robotech as we hear more. Stay tuned!

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8 Responses to ‘Robotech’ goes back to its (or IT’s) once considered director

  1. I’m pretty excited about this movie. Even if it sucks, maybe Japan will make their own “Macross” movie. =D

  2. ex-sell69 says:

    Okay, let me get this straight… Robotech is so better than G.I.Joe (Saturday morning cartoons are dead), knowing that Micheal Gordon (G.I. Joe: the Rise of Cobra) is writing the screenplay for the Robotech live action movie?! And you do know that the only reason why they’re planning to make a live action Robotech movie is because of the popularity of the Transformer live action movies, right? …Yeah, and Robotech is made by using three unrelated Tatsunoko anime? Well then, why doesn’t Harmony Gold just license all the Macross sequels from Tatsunoko then? Oh right, because everything Macross is owned and officially licensed by Big West, and Tatsunoko only has the international rights to SDF: Macross that was sub-licensed to Harmony Gold to be used as Robotech: The Macross Saga… And the best part of what you wrote is that: Robotech is one of the titles responsible for igniting anime fandom… HOW?! Robotech has nothing to do with todays Japanese anime… I mean, just like how no one calls Robotech comic books “manga” (Macross: The First is manga), none of the planned (failed) Robotech sequels were Japanese anime! So while Macross has a future with sequels, Robotech is trapped like if its fans think this was still 1985!
    All hail lord Shoji Kawamori! Long live Macross! Death to Harmony Gold!

    • lol I totally agree with you. Robotech, even with its changed/edited storyline (by Harmony Gold), is what introduced “Macross” (and the other two Tatsunoko productions), to most people outside Japan (and I’m talking in the 80s, not now), which is why I think most consider it “one of the titles responsible for igniting anime fandom”… whatever happens, it’ll be interesting to see what comes of this. I can take it or leave it at this point. I’d like to see Japan itself come out with their own live-action film using the actual “The Super Dimension Fortress Macross/Macross: DYRL” storyline. But who knows. Maybe the “big screen rights” Hollywood has planned will have a new license that uses the source material, and not HG’s take (while using the marketing title “Robotech,” since that’s what most “audiences” are used to…)

  3. Ningen21 says:

    I’m not a lawyer, but maybe they didn’t consult with him, because they can’t actually release Robotech as Macross in Japan? 🙂

  4. bert boyz says:

    No gripes just go and make the movie already its been so long

  5. ex-sell69 says:

    Another year, with yet more promises that the Robotech live action movie is still in production (making this its 10th anniversary with nothing to show for it). Now, lets say that they (Sony) got this movie made… And now, lets say it was so suck-cessful that it helps them (the evil only known as Harmony Shoal… I meant Gold) make more Robotech… What would that have to do with Macross? NOTHING! So they licensed Macross, a series they don’t support (Harmony Gold, celebrating the Macross 35th anniversary by keeping the series in licensing hell),that they don’t want anything to do with (the future of Robotech, like this movie, has nothing to do with Macross), and can do nothing with it other than preventing the series from being licensed and sold outside Japan (Why? … Because two companies can’t claim ownership, license or sell the same products)!
    You see, Japanese anime was never about: Superiority over cartoons, needing special treatment, or about wanting people to be something they aren’t … It was always about wanting and supporting an official release, with the people that made it, respecting them as people by name. If they did this, my not liking Harmony Gold or Robotech would just be an opinion (in my defense, Harmony Gold is my NHK… Welcome to the Harmony Gold)… Instead, all they can show Macross is: Hatred, disrespect to its creators, and their own personal greed!

    All hail lord Shoji Kawamori! Long live Macross! Death to Harmony Gold!

    • JJ Bona says:

      Totally agree with you there, ex-sell69. Well said. I like how Shoji Kawamori is basically throwing himself at producers, yet producers have no clue the guy actually exists. Crossing my fingers that all this changes and we end up with a good film. The good thing is James Wan is no longer involved. Muschietti seems to be a decent filmmaker.

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