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Netflix Announces Live-Action Gundam Movie, Godzilla Anime Trailer Lands

Netflix has really capitalised on the global popularity of Japanese animation, both through licensing existing shows and films and in funding new ones. It's also been investing in live-action films and series based on popular anime and manga properties. As well as snagging international rights to live-action feature based on hits like Bleach and Fullmetal Alchemist, they have commissioned several of their own, such as Death Note, Cowboy Bebop and One Piece.

The latest name to join that list is the biggest yet. Legendary are set to produce a live-action feature adaptation of the classic Mobile Suit Gundam franchise. Even if you don't know the name, the chances are you will recognise the iconic giant robot design. The 1979 original TV series spawned multiple sequels, movies, spin-offs, manga and video games, and is a cornerstone of mecha anime and of Japanese science-fiction as a whole.

The franchise was actually adapted into  live-action before, in the obscure 1999 TV movie Gundam:G-Saviour and there have been rumours of Hollywood adaptations in the past, but nothing concrete until now.

The anime series was created by Yoshiyuki Tomino and produced by Sunrise. Sunrise's creative team will be involved in the adaptation, which is to be written by acclaimed comic book writer Brian K Vaughan (Saga, Y The Last Man)  and directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts (Kong: Skull Island).

The plot of the film is being kept under wraps for now, but there is an awful lot of material they can draw upon. The first TV series was set in the Universal Century Era, when humanity has established space colonies. Eventually, the people of the colony Zeon launch a war of independence against the Earth Federation. Initially, Zeon gains the upper hand through its development of giant humanoid weapons called Mobile Suits. The Earth then develops a Mobile Suit of its own, the Gundam- an experimental weapon the ends up piloted by a  teenage mechanic named  Amuro Ray.

There have been many series and films since then. Some take place in the same UC timeline, while there are also others (like Gundam Wing and Gundam Seed) which are side stories that take place in their own unique continuities, completely separate universes where Gundams also exist. The 'live-action' movie (which would still have to feature animation pretty prominently) could take place in any of them, or the precedent is there for it to be a completely original iteration. In fact, that might be the least risky option. For really wild speculation- what if it takes place in the Monsterverse?

Netflix have the rights to stream the film worldwide, but Legendary will distribute the film theatrically in China.

Meanwhile, also on Netflix, Japan's most iconic live-action franchise is headed back into animation. Godzilla: Singular Point is a new anime from Studio Bones and Toho Animation, and is a 2D series (unlike the CG Godzilla trilogy that is currently streaming). The 13 episode series will "tell a new and original story unlike anything seen in the Godzilla franchise before". But fans don't need to worry too much, as the new trailer shows us there's also going to be plenty of big lizards stomping on things. The trailer also confirms the series will arrive sometime in June. Check the trailer out, below.

Gundam 101

⦿ 40 Years Of Gundam: The Universal Century

⦿ Mobile Suit Gundam (1979)

⦿ Mobile Suit Gundam Wing