For decades, Mobile Suit Gundam defined the mecha subgenre, and has been the subject of thousands of hours of anime television and film. But there’s never been a live-action version.
Until now. Netflix has announced that it’ll bring the first live-action, feature film adaptation of the franchise to its platform, and that it’s tapped Kong: Skull Island director Jordan Vogt-Roberts to helm the project.
The sprawling military science fiction franchise got its start in 1979 with the series Mobile Suit Gundam, which ran for 43 episodes. Set in the distant future, it follows the events of a brutal war as space colonies work to break away from Earth, in which mech pilots operate massive mobile suits (inspired in part by Robert Heinlein’s Starship Troopers) called Gundams—humanoid robots armed to the teeth.
Mechs aren’t unheard of in live-action film—just look at Pacific Rim and Pacific Rim 2: Uprising (both heavily inspired by Gundam), or films like Aliens, but we’ve never actually gotten to see a Gundam on screen in full CGI glory.
Grab your Mobile suits! Jordan Vogt-Roberts has been set to direct and produce Legendary’s first-ever live-action feature film version of Sunrise’s GUNDAM for Netflix.
— NX (@NXOnNetflix) April 12, 2021
Vogt-Roberts will produce and direct the film, and his previous work on Kong: Skull Island—which featured Kong beating the crap out of an expedition and a bunch of other monsters—suggests a similarly action-packed spectacle for Gundam. He’s also currently developing an adaptation of Metal Gear Solid.
According to Variety, Netflix is working with Legendary Pictures to produce the Gundam adaptation, and has tapped Brian K. Vaughan to write the screenplay. Vaughan is best known for comics including Saga and Y: The Last Man, and was recently announced as the writer on another project with Legendary: a reboot of Buck Rogers.
Netflix hasn’t revealed what the story will be about, or when we’ll see it, but as Variety points out, there’s decades of anime, manga, novels, and other media for the streaming service to mine for material.