The world of anime is a huge one, and it contains plenty of big-name franchises. Dragon Ball and Akira are just two of its exports which global audiences have come to love, and Mobile Suit Gundam is up there with them. The mecha-centric series has undergone all sorts of iterations over the years, but did you know it nearly got a live-action take from Hollywood?
Plans for the film might have fallen through, but its paper trail is alive if not hard to follow. However, thanks to one fan, it has never been easier to get information on the scrapped project. Oh, and its 117-page script is out there to read as well.
Not long ago, Zimmerit shared an article by Tom Winnicki that breaks down Hollywood’s snuffed Gundam film. The project, which was put into motion in 1983, got its start at Lionsgate before licensing disputes forced it to close. Winnicki was given permission to share Chip Proser’s first script of the live-action adaptation, and there’s a lot to breakdown in the draft.
The document, which can be found here, features a full glossary and its original margin notes. Proser, who is best-known for his work on Top Gun, went deep into the lore of the series’ Mobile Suits as well as its Zak units. The script also featured a cover page that uses artwork from Roman Album Extra 42: Mobile Suit Gundam the Motion Picture.
For those of you unfamiliar with the history of Hollywood's Gundam obsession, it dates back a few decades. Lionsgate tried to develop a live-action adaptation of the epic sci-fi series in the early 1980s. The company brought in artist Syd Mead to do concept art and storyboards for the film while Proser oversaw its script. The writer agreed to handle the film's story so long as he could direct the adaptation, but his team struggled to figure out how Gundam's mecha fights could be done with such limited technology at that time. Ultimately, the film was forced out of development when Sunrise Studio and Bandai sent cease-and-desist notices to Lionsgate as the production company did not license the anime series.
Do you think Hollywood could take a crack at Gundam nowadays? Hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to let me know and talk all things comics, k-pop, and anime!