The success of the Transformers franchise is paying off in an interesting way, as the studios try to line up their own licensed giant robot sci-fi movies. I have to admit -- it's a cooler fad than volcanoes or meteors. The three retro properties currently seeing the most movement are Voltron, Robotech, and Gaiking, and all three had their own little bits of development news during the past week.
Are audiences going to suffer from giant robo burnout? I hope not. All three properties (imported from Japan) are fairly different from each other, and will, most likely, be targeted to different audiences (I think Voltron's simple story will skew young, for example, while Robotech's complicated love triangle might draw in women that aren't usually into sci-fi).
You can read the latest developments after the jump.
What is it? Five teenagers pilot their own robot lions that connect together to form Voltron. Voltron defends the planet Arus from the evil King Zarkon and his robobeasts.
Last news I heard: The project, developed by Mark Gordon and screenwriter Justin Marks (Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li) dropped dead due to lack of studio interest.
Latest Developments: Nicktoons is reviving the concept with an all-new original Voltron cartoon. WEP, who own the Voltron license, are still looking for the right approach for the live-action film, and are tossing out recent screenplay attempts in favor of starting from scratch.
(via Corona's Coming Attractions)
What is it? This gets a little complicated...A massive alien spaceship (the SDF-1) appears on the tiny island of Macross, and, over the course of a decade, the Robotech Defense Force is created to study and develop that alien technology (referred to as "robotech"). Earth ends up being attacked by war-like giants called the Zentraedi, who are chasing down the SDF-1. In a last ditch effort to protect Macross Island from the Zentraedi, the ship executes an emergency jump that lands their crew and the civilian residents of Macross city into uncharted space. Included in this group of survivors are a hotshot teen circus pilot and the girl he's infatuated with -- a bubble-gum pop singing sensation whose music will eventually be the key to the fate of all mankind.
Last news I heard: Tobey Maguire was producing, and leaving the door open to the possibility of starring as lead pilot Rick Hunter, in a screenplay by Lawrence Kasdan (Raiders of the Lost Ark, Empire Strikes Back).
Latest Developments: Director Sylvain White still says a live-action Robotech is happening, just not quickly. He liked the most recent draft of the screenplay (I don't know if that's Kasdan's script or not), but may choose to make Losers 2 before attempting a project as huge as Robotech.
What is it? Better known in the United States as part of the once-popular Shogun Warrior action figures, in the Toei cartoon, the character defended Earth from Prince Darius and the Dark Horror Army.
Last news I heard: No one in the states has heard much from Gaiking (or the Shogun Warriors) since Mattel ended the toyline, sometime around 1980.
Latest Developments: There was some suspicion on the part of Ain't It Cool News readers that Harry Knowles was pulling an elaborate April Fool's prank, but an official announcement was made at the 2010 Tokyo Animation Fair -- Gaiking is coming to theatres in 2012, with more Shogun Warriors feature films planned if Gaiking is a hit. Knowles got an exclusive teaser trailer for the film (which looks amazing -- click here to see for yourself), from producer Jules Urbach and director Matthew Gratzner.