If there is one thing the giddy school girl inside of my loves, its giant robots fighting giants in robots. In space.
“There are no winners or losers. Only survivors.”
With James Wan’s recent success with the Fast and Furious series, it is no surprise that many studios are clamoring over his wizardry to save their lesser known franchises. Reportedly, he has been selected to direct the new Aquaman movie. Aquaman will probably have a lot of fish in it, and doesn’t automatically appeal to audiences like Batman or Superman or Batman vs Superman would. “If anyone can do it, Joss Whedon can! (or James Wan if hes available!)” is Hollywood’s new motto. Of course Aquaman has grown up in recent Justice League and Injustice story lines. Hopefully his ‘no surrender brutality’ translates to the big screen.
Another dubious franchise that Mr. Wan has been asked to direct is Robotech. This I am genuinely excited for. While Robotech is a lesser known franchise, it will be competing in a space soon to be filled with giant robot fights. A Voltron (????), Power Rangers (2017), and Pacific Rim 2 (2017) movie are all in the pipeline. Crossing those with box office excitement for childhood reboots not directed by Michael Bay, and you’ve got a great window in which to release.
Robotech was a cartoon originally released in the 1980s. Technically, at least in the U.S., it was actually 3 different Robotech stories combined into 1. There are also a series of Macross movies that expanded on the universe. The TV show will likely be the focus of the movie, and the story unravels like this. In 1999, a mysterious alien ship crashes in the Pacific Ocean. The world not only learns about the existence of aliens, but also learns about their technology. A city grows around the crashed ship as technology is mined from it. Eventually some of the technology is adapted for military use, and Veritech Fighters are born. The F-16s that can transform into robot soldiers are Earths best defense against future alien incursions. A ‘Hellicarrier’ is also created out of the wreckage, and it will carry the Veritech fighters into battle. On its maiden voyage however, the original alien owners show up and try to reclaim the stolen technology. Out numbered and out gunned, this sets the stage for the rest of the series.
Besides Director Wan, the producers of this movie have tapped some incredible screenplay talent. First up is Michael Gordon, who is probably best known for 300 and G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. “BUT SHIRLEY!”, you plea, “SHIRLEY THIS ISN’T ENOUGH FOR SUCH A REVERED FRANCHISE!!!” Well i’d be skeptical too, if not for writer number two. And don’t call me Shirley.
Lawerence Kasdan. You may have heard of his movies. The Empire Strikes Back?, Raiders of the Lost Ark? Return of the Jedi? The Bodyguard? Wyatt Earp? Shadows of the Empire? The Force Awakens? Mull that over. And yeah, they never made a Shadows of the Empire movie but c’mon, you still know the story.
So, capable director: check. Great writing team: check. Proper financing: check. Hype? We may have a problem. While I love Robotech, many people haven’t even heard of it. The next 5 to 10 years are going to be saturated with super hero movies. If Aquaman suddenly gets priority, Robotech could and probably will get shifted to the back burner. Things often don’t return from the back burner. Especially if Aquaman does well. Mr. Wan is already at work on The Conjuring 2 which is slated for release in 2016. With a suggested release of 2018 for Aquaman, that does not leave much time for Robotech.
With Robotech: The Movie’s future not quite set in stone, it will require the voice and hype of its fans to see it through. Write your Senator. Start a petition. Grab a megaphone and head out to a confederate flag protest. Its up to us! At the very least, give a call to Sony Pictures and tell them if they’ve got the balls to produce Pixels, they can surely afford a Robotech movie.