Post Reply When Gundam came to Hollywood
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Posted 1/10/17
Found a really interesting article online about Gundam's brush with Hollywood in the 1980's. The author, Tom Winnicki, basically tracked down as many people as possible who were involved in the project and with the information he learned expands on this bit of fandom trivia. I wasn't sure whether to put this in anime or movies given the fact that this is just an interview about what was only ever a potential project. I figured that at the end of the day it qualifies as interesting information about the Gundam franchise in general, but I'll let the mods be the judge of that.

From the article:


Gundam is a franchise with few secrets. Decades of worldwide popularity and tenacious fans have left few stones unturned, but there’s some mystery left: In 1983, Hollywood filmmakers were working on a live-action Gundam film. Development was still in the early stages before it was canned. Solid information on the project has been scant, and it’s largely existed as little more than an esoteric piece of fandom trivia.

I first heard about the aborted project thanks to an interview with Syd Mead on the now-defunct Anime News Service, and Mead may be the only reason anyone outside of the project even knows about it. In addition to mentioning it in the interview, he included artwork he produced for it in his book Oblagon and mentioned it on the filmography section of his website. An interview with Mead shot for Bandai Entertainment’s cancelled release of Turn A Gundam revealed more details when it was included on Right Stuf’s release of the series.

Curious to learn more, I decided to try and shed some light on the over three-decade old cinematic cold case. I was lucky enough to track down and talk with several people involved with the failed project. This article is the result of my email correspondence with Roger Servick (Mead’s manager), and phone interviews with writer/director Chip Proser and CGI animation pioneer John Whitney Jr.



Zaks attack O’Neill 7, by Syd Mead.


Link to the full article here. http://www.zimmerit.moe/when-gundam-came-to-hollywood/

The rest of the article details how the film would have progressed and differed from the original canon (its an intergalactic setting rather than confined to the Earth sphere, there is no Earth Federation analog, Zeon is repackaged as the Ziong Corporate Empire, and Char is Amuro's brother). It also explains the plans of the film makers to utilize CGI for the mobile suits, similar to The Last Starfighter, which would have been a groundbreaking approach at the time.

All in all its an interesting look into a classic "what could have been" scenario. Its kind of fun to imagine what the history of the franchise would have been like if this film ever made it off the runway and into theaters.
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Posted 1/10/17 , edited 1/10/17
You know, if Hollywood was ever going to make a Gundam movie the 80s would have definitely been the best time to do it. Unfortunately giant robots and children starring in action (and horror for some reason) movies just don't seem to be much of a thing here anymore.

At least I've got my Pacific Rim and Voltron Legendary Defender.
Posted 1/10/17 , edited 1/11/17
but Gundam DID have a live-action movie. and boy was it bad...
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Posted 1/11/17

aidenraine wrote:

but Gundam DID have a live-action movie. and boy was it bad...


It was indeed, but it's still better than the Hollywood GitS flick will probably be.
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Posted 1/11/17

octorockandroll wrote:
You know, if Hollywood was ever going to make a Gundam movie the 80s would have definitely been the best time to do it.


Seconding this. Riding the wave of Robotech and Voltron would have been the best possible chance. As it stands, though, the live action movie that did get released is ... best not mentioned.
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26 / M / Texas
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Posted 1/11/17
Hollywood was not ready for the epicness!
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Posted 6/28/17
Still looks better than G-Saviour (the second worst movie I've ever seen)
Thank the Burning Gundam that this got canned though. It would've still been a horrible movie in my eyes.
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