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Just in case audiences responded favorably to Guillermo Del Toro’s robots-versus-monsters blockbuster Pacific Rim (which is expected), Hollywood wants to make sure it has rival sci-fi/tech/robot/battle projects in the pipeline. As a result, Rim studio Warner Bros. has decided to move ahead with a big-budget adaptation of the anime series Robotech, officially tapping a director for the gig.
Nic Mathieu, a CGI-friendly commercial director, will make his feature-film debut with Warner’s sprawling Robotech project, The Hollywood Reporter notes. So what is Robotech? The Japanese anime ran for 85 episodes, airing in the U.S. in 1985. The initial story involved humans discovering an alien ship that had crashed on a South Pacific island, then using the technology aboard the craft to create weaponry – and massive robots – that were used in subsequent Robotech wars. So yeah, it sounds a little like Pacific Rim. The original show led to several spinoffs, which means that Warner sees tons of franchise potential if the first movie manages to connect to an audience.
THR notes that Robotech has been in development at Warner since 2007, with producers Akiva Goldsman and Tobey Maguire pushing the film along toward production. Hiring a director should get the ball rolling, though it will be curious to see if Mathieu will be able to hire one more screenwriter to take a pass on the screenplay that has been workshopped to death at the studio.
THR also points out that Warner also has Mathieu’s name attached to The Wind, a sci-fi project that they picked up from writer David Koepp. And he has been circling the alien drama The Story of Your Life for Shawn Levy’s 21 Laps. So he has an eye for sci-fi. But which project will jump to the top of his to-do list? We’ll find out soon enough.