First Look at Netflix’s Live-Action GUNDAM Movie

It was only a matter of time really. Legendary Pictures is all about big, giant things fighting other big, giant things. After the Pacific Rim movies and their Monsterverse kaiju escapades, what’s left to tackle but  Gundam? Legendary will produce a live-action movie based on the long-running and hugely popular anime series, beginning with 1979’s Mobile Suit Gundam. And more than that, Kong: Skull Island director and confirmed anime fanatic Jordan Vogt-Roberts will take on the director’s duties. And according to IGNY: The Last Man and Runaways writer Brian K. Vaughn will write the screenplay.

In April, news broke of the project, which you can read about below, but on November 9, we got our first look at the concept art for Vogt-Roberts’ Gundam movie during Netflix Festival Japan. And it looks pretty rad.

The background shows a warehouse or hangar on fire while the center depicts shadowy image of the main Gundam from concept art from Jordan Vogt-Roberts' upcoming Mobile Suit Gundam live-action film.
ILM Art Department

In a supremely awesome image from Industrial Light & Magic’s art department, we see a 3D-rendered version of the famous RX-78-2 Gundam, bathed in fire and seen mostly in shadow. It certainly cuts a striking figure. Naturally this is just concept art so we won’t know exactly what the fully rendered Gundam will look like for a while, but this really illustrates (ha) the tone and badassery Vogt-Roberts is going for with this version.

Original reporting below…

Legendary has teamed with Sunrise, the Japanese company that began the franchise. The movie will stream exclusively on Netflix in most markets in the world; Legendary will release the film theatrically in China. While there is no indication of what the story for the movie will be, Vogt-Roberts has proven his affinity for anime, and especially giant mecha, time and again. He revealed a very nerdy reference to Neon Genesis Evangelion during our  Skull Island tweetalong in 2020.

The iconic RX-78-2 Gundam from 1979's Mobile Suit Gundam.

The Gundam franchise has a very long history and a complicated continuity. The original series involves the war between the Principality of Zeon and the Earth Federation; the latter unveils a new giant robot known as the RX-78-2 Gundam and its pilot, teenage civilian mechanic, Amuro Ray. From there, the theme of young humans piloting cool looking giant mech armor became a staple of anime. Gundam itself spawned 17 spin-offs and sequels. Some take place in the main “Universal Century” timeline, others do not.

With Gundam, Vogt-Roberts adds another bucket list film project of geekdom; last year, news broke of him directing Metal Gear Solid movie which will star Oscar Isaac. Of today’s news, Vogt-Roberts shared that a single tweet could not express his excitement.

No word yet on when the Gundam movie might hit our streaming boxes, but you can bet we’ll let you know as soon as we know anything.

Originally published April 12, 2021. Updated November 9, 2021.

Editor’s Note: Nerdist is a subsidiary of Legendary Digital Networks

Kyle Anderson is the Senior Editor for Nerdist. You can find his film and TV reviews here. Follow him on Twitter!

Top Stories
Trending Topics