Will it actually happen this time? That’s the first thought that comes to mind whenever we hear reports about a live-action Robotech, which have been circulating for almost as long as I can remember. Sony Pictures is the latest studio to try their hand at the venerable title, and they apparently have an eye at turning it into an expansive movie franchise.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Sony has picked up the rights to the popular sci-fi franchise, which dates back to the early 1980s and includes animated series, movies, RPGs, comics, novels, and some of the most badass toys of my childhood. With all of that history and the wealth of possible storylines and characters, Robotech certainly has the sprawling potential to become the franchise Sony hopes. This could go on forever based solely on what already exists.
After discovering a crashed alien spaceship in the South Pacific, the people of Earth develop giant transforming mechanical suits in order to fend off various alien invaders. In this iteration, the fate of the entire human race winds up in the hands of a pair of young pilots. I bet they’re untested and rebellious, too. In addition to the potential for incredible visuals—seriously, giant planes with legs, holding guns and running around battling aliens, what’s not to love?—the inherent themes of technology, as both a redeemer and destroyer, which the characters contend with should provide some meaty ideas to explore.
One of the tricky things about this is going to be to differentiate it from obvious comparisons like Transformers and Pacific Rim. There aren’t a lot of other giant robot sagas out there, and it’ll be really easy to fall into mimicking one or another of those franchises. That would be a damn shame, too, because even though there are surface similarities, there are a ton of cool elements that should make Robotech very much its own unique thing.
Just a few months ago, reports circulated that Warner Bros. was jumping on the Robotech train, with producers Gianni Nunnari and Mark Canton, and 300 and G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra writer Michael Gordon handling the script. Though the project has swapped studios, it appears that creative team is still very much intact. Last we heard, Mama helmer Andy Muschietti was also attached to direct, but his name is nowhere to be found in this latest report. He was recently linked to an adaptation of Stephen King’s The Jaunt, so it appears he has likely moved on.
This is also far from the only time people have attempted to adapt Robotech; this is just the latest. At various points, Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Lawrence Kasdan, and Akiva Goldsman, just to name a handful, have all been connected to the property. Though after numerous false starts and screeching halts, it does appear that there is some definite forward momentum building up. There’s no timeline just yet, but this will be interesting to watch develop, if for no other reason than to see if this time, finally, Sony succeeds in bringing Robotech to the big screen.