There are few certainties in Hollywood filmmaking, but here’s one that seems iron clad: they will never make a movie based on Robotech.
This hasn’t stopped studios from trying to bring the giant robot series to the big screen, though. Warner Bros. held the film option for a time with Tobey Maguire signed up in some capacity. It floundered. The project resurfaced at Sony with The Conjuring‘s James Wan said to be attached. But now, according to The Hollywood Reporter, It director Andy Muschietti will helm the project.
Should it ever happen, of course.
Based on three separate animated series from Japan — Super Dimension Fortress Macross, Super Dimension Calvary Southern Cross, and Genesis Climber Mospeada — Robotech was the first taste of anime for many children in the mid 1980s. It has a small but passionate following always hoping that its epic storyline will come to a satisfying conclusion. Instead, they’ve been treated to various attempts like Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles or insane reboot ideas as property owner Harmony Gold USA attempts to get the feature off the ground.
If my tone sounds derisive, it’s because I am a fan of Robotech. I loved its sweeping, multi-generational storyline and come back to it ever couple of years. With that in mind, I’ve never thought it would make for a good feature. The most cinematic sequence is the Macross material, but ownership of those characters and robot designs are held by several warring entities. The issue makes it difficult to sell Robotech internationally. In fact, the hard-to-follow chain of custody in regards to Macross in the states and abroad has kept many subsquent Marcoss series out of the US.
But beyond legal issues, the series greatest assets are things that will be thrown out during feature development. Fan favorite characters like Max Sterling and Exedore will hardly have time to breathe, even in a film pushing the three-hour mark. Its epic feel would require the commitment of many years and many movies to bring to the screen and, honestly, I’ve never thought the interest is there for something like that.
Nevertheless, Sony believes Robotech is worth pursuing, with THR calling it a “high priority” for the studio. It is interesting to note the studio’s interest in horror directors for the project. Despite some truly horrific voice acting, Robotech is not known for its scares. I’m note sure if that’s part of Sony’s plan for Robotech, but I wish them luck. I’d be happy to see my one iron-clad rule of Hollywood crumble and a new generation embrace this silly world of transforming planes and pop songs.