The Live-Action Gundam Movie Taps Jordan Vogt-Roberts to Direct and Heads to Netflix

Amuro ignites the beam saber blade heard ‘round the galaxy in the opening days of the One Year War.
Amuro ignites the beam saber blade heard ‘round the galaxy in the opening days of the One Year War.
Image: Sunrise

It would seem the director behind the long-in-limbo Metal Gear Solid movie saw one Japanese parallel for nuclear war and decided “no, there must be more.”

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Netflix has announced that Kong: Skull Island director Jordan Vogt-Roberts will direct Legendary’s adaptation of the Mobile Suit Gundam franchise. Oh and also, it’s a Netflix production now.

Vogt-Roberts—who is also purportedly directing Oscar Isaac as Solid Snake in the adaptation of the beloved tactical espionage action game series Metal Gear—is directing the script from Saga co-creator Brian K. Vaughan, which Legendary has been working on for the past few years.

First broadcast in 1979, the original Mobile Suit Gundam told the story of a young boy, Amuro Ray, a interstellar colonist swept up in the mechanized war between the forces of the Earth Federation and the seceding space colony known as the Principality of Zeon. Piloting the titular Gundam RX-78-2—an experimental mecha designed in part by Amuro’s father as a secret weapon—Amuro’s battles against Zeon and the ace general Char Aznable helped start off a multimedia franchise empire that has included over 30 anime series across multiple timelines, movies, and of course, an army of small plastic model kits.

We’ll bring you more on Netflix’s plans for Gundam as and when we learn them.

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James is a News Editor at io9, where you can find him delivering your morning spoilers, writing about superheroes, and having many feelings about Star Wars. He wants pictures. Pictures of Spider-Man!

DISCUSSION

Ishamael

So a few thoughts right off the bat.

1) Netflix. This is not promising. For a Gundam to work effects wise it will need a significant budget likely $100,000,000.00 plus, Netflix almost never does this with their films. Which have always been more limited affairs. Mostly as the ROI for streaming is so different than theatrical it doesn’t make a lot of sense to drop a lot of money on a film without a direct payment method.

2) Legendary. Mixed. Legendary makes “Big Things Fighting Other Big Things” movies pretty well. Pacific Rim and the MonsterVerse comes to mind obviously. The issue is Pacific Rim, once you took out Guillermo Del Toro Pacific Rim went from “Fun but Dumb” to just... dumb.

Gundam is not “dumb”. Superficially its about gigantic robots but the best Gundam (08th MS Team, War in the Pocket, Chars Counterattack, Unicorn, ect) have always been decidedly more than that. Its not to say Legendary cant make a film like that because they have, its just rare.

3) The Director has done Kong: Skull Island so he’s proven himself on a big budget film. Furthermore, he’s actually responsible for the one film in the MonsterVerse that had a compelling human element. So... actually I am not opposed to this choice. Further to this, Kong: Skull Island is basically a Vietnam film with monsters one of the best Gundam is The 08th MS Team which is a Vietnam story with Gundams.

Basically... its a decidedly mixed bag. Though the best case scenario is the limited budget forces a more human based plot where the Gundam is a side piece. Which is basically War in the Pocket which is also an easy adaptation choice.