Sony Pictures Picks Up 'Robotech' Anime for Feature Film Franchise
by Ethan Anderton
March 26, 2015
The popular anime Robotech has been stuck in development since as far back as 2007 with Warner Bros. trying several iterations in order to get it off the ground, the last attempt being with commercial director Nic Mathieu in 2013. But now the property has switched studios as Sony Pictures has just announced the acquisition of the big screen rights to Robotech with "the intention of moving quickly toward production of a future global franchise." Surely that was what Warner Bros. had hoped for too, so let's not get to excited just yet, but the anime classic has a sprawling sci-fi world that would make for quite the cinematic spectacle.
For those who don't know, Robotech is set at a time when Earth has developed giant robots based on the technology of an alien spacecraft that crashed on a South Pacific isle. Using this new technology, mankind must fight off three waves of alien invasions, including giant warriors looking to get their ship's energy source back. Two young pilots end up leading the battle and hold the fate of mankind in their hands. If that sounds familiar, that's because it's not too far off from Pacific Rim, although Guillermo del Toro was absolutely inspired anime series like Robotech for his monster-fighting robot flick.
This time, Immortals and 300 franchise producers Gianni Nunnari and Mark Canton are developing the property with 300 and G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra scribe Michael Gordon taking a crack at the screenplay. The goal is for this group to "bring their modern sensibility to the tentpole, reintroducing today’s audiences to the Robotech universe." Sony's new head honcho Michael De Luca says, "With a history that offers an epic love triangle, a renegade hero, and a world on the brink of extinction, Robotech offers a wide scope and a rich and impressive universe where the story possibilities are endless."
Nunnari offers his own excitement by saying, "When the rights to Robotech became available we jumped. Mark and I knew it had what big movies in today’s world must have if they want to grab everyone: insane visuals and powerful themes. The characters in Robotech wrestle with both the destructive and redemptive powers of technology; nothing is more relevant today than that.” And the original rights holder is thrilled too saying, "We at Harmony Gold have waited 30 years for the chips to fall in place. Finally they have, and finally our dreams have come true." We'll see if fans feel the same way, that is if the film happens this time.