Legendary Entertainment has been promising us a Gundam movie for years at this point, but now it’s finally starting to take shape. According to the latest reports, the Gundam film will bring its battling giant robots back to the big screen in a film directed by Kong: Skull Island’s Jordan Vogt-Roberts, to stream exclusively on Netflix. As previously reported, the film is written by prolific comic book author Brian K. Vaughn, the creator of series such as Y: The Last Man and Ex Machina. The film would be hosted on Netflix globally, except for in China, where Legendary would distribute it themselves.
It’s not clear yet what era of the show’s long mythology would be tackled in a Gundam movie, but it likely makes the most sense for it to begin where the series began: Mobile Suit Gundam, the first Gundam anime that began broadcasting in 1979. Set in the “Universal Century,” Legendary previously described that setting in this way:
The original Gundam series is set in the Universal Century, an era in which humanity’s growing population has led people to emigrate to space colonies. Eventually, the people living in the colonies seek their autonomy, and launch a war of independence against the people living on Earth. Through the tragedies and discord arising from this human conflict, not only the maturation of the main character, but also the intentions of enemies and the surrounding people are sensitively depicted.
That’s an apt summary of the allure of Gundam in general—epic robot battles, but with mature human characters at the center. The series has been visibly referenced in a few major ways in recent years, particularly in Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One, which featured a Gundam robot at a pivotal moment. It’s also a move that makes particular sense for Netflix, which has been diversifying and expanding its slate of original, anime-style animation in recent years with series such as Castlevania and Blood of Zeus. Could an American Gundam series be in the wings as well?
We’ll bring you more news on the development of Netflix’s Gundam as it breaks.