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Netflix making live-action Gundam movie with Kong: Skull Island director

Jordan Vogt-Roberts and Brian K. Vaughan will bring mechs to Netflix

A photo of the 18-meter tall Gundam statue in Shizuoka city Photo: Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP via Getty Images
Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Netflix and Legendary are developing a live-action movie based on the Gundam franchise, with director Jordan Vogt-Roberts (Kong: Skull Island) and comic book writer Brian K. Vaughan (Saga, Y: The Last Man) on board to adapt. Netflix announced the project Monday, but said that the story for the live-action Gundam film is being kept under wraps.

Gundam is the long-running multimedia mech space opera property created by Yoshiyuki Tomino and animation studio Sunrise in 1979. The series, which began with Mobile Suit Gundam, has since spawned dozens of sequel and spinoff animated series, manga, video games, toys, and model kits, and it remains incredibly popular to this day. The original Mobile Suit Gundam is now streaming on Crunchyroll.

The story of Gundam is set in the futuristic Universal Century, in which humanity has grown beyond the sustainability of Earth and seeks colonization in deep space. Conflict between independent colonists and the population of Earth is at the heart of Gundam’s many battles, which are fought using giant mecha called Mobile Suits. Gundam is credited with maturing the giant robot anime genre, and for telling a wide array of human stories of love, war, and military sci-fi drama over four decades.

Vaughan’s involvement in the project was announced in 2019, and his own series, Y: The Last Man, is being developed for television by FX for Hulu. Vogt-Roberts is also attached to direct the adaptation of another giant mech franchise: Metal Gear Solid starring Oscar Isaac as Solid Snake.

A release date for Netflix’s Gundam was not announced.