This week Variety reported that Sony Pictures acquired the rights for a Robotech live-action film from Warner Bros. As someone who grew up on cartoons in the late 1970’s and 1980’s this announcement seems to be the best shot in decades for the franchise to make it unto the big screen. So for that I thank Sony Pictures for making the move and I remain cautiously optimistic.
For anyone unfamiliar with the franchise it was a Japanese anime cartoon, I encourage you to check out an LA Weekly article posted in November of 2013 titled The Unusual Story Behind The ’80s Hit Cartoon Robotech. I still have the article saved as a page on my iPhone and bring it up from time to time to read over it. But basically, like Voltron Robotech was an American mash-up of three different Japanese Anime series but once assembled together it took off in a life of it’s own. Sure there are human piloted transforming fighting robots and fleets of gigantic city-sized space battleships and hundreds of alien races and civilizations, but the story and characters surrounding it are as interesting and deep as you can get. Robotech’s story is just as good or better than Mass Effect or Halo and the Robotech Universe is as rich or better than seen in Star Wars or Star Trek. Robotech is a SciFi’s fan’s dream of a series and has been for three decades. Robotech and Votron recently did a joint Comic Book run and there are still Robotech fan conventions and panels ongoing each year. I’d recommend checking out the Robotech Facebook Page for further details if you are interested in attending a Robotech event.
With such a dedicated fan base, complex and layered story, and incredibly effect based scenes to shoot I will be closely monitoring these events with Sony. Those that know me know that Robotech is my favorite science fiction series of all time. I have been known to send friends my Robotech DVD series set at the slightest mention of interest. If you need more of a franchise wrap up I will instantly refer you to the Robotech: End Of The Circle novel. I feel invested in this franchise and want to see this succeed.
However, we’ve been down this road before. While bringing fantastic effects to the screen, Michael Bay has destroyed the hearts of countless Transformers purists with his film adaptations of the 80’s hit cartoon. Michael Bay’ Transformers projects lack plot, the fast cutting is incredibly difficult to sustain viewership and the use of the source material and characters feels like simple box checking. The Japanese version of Starblazers in a live action film was not ready for international consumption by any means. The G.I. Joe films hardly lived up to potential. Robotech deserves better than what these other franchises received.
So in the meantime I’ll not-so-patiently wait for news on the project, hope that Sony makes the best decisions possible, pray that Sony puts the resources towards this project that it deserves and anticipate seeing Robotech come out on the big screen finally after 30 years of waiting for it.
But this I will also tell you, like any future Michael Bay movie, if Sony screws this up I will boycott Sony Pictures for the rest of my life. I am not interested in seeing a quickly made movie filled with fighting human piloted robots, fantastic special effects explosions and no plot whatsoever or dedication to the source material. If I want to see that there is Battleship or Pacific Rim or Transformers. I want to see Robotech done right. I want to see Robotech succeed. And I want to see Robotech in a positive light. So please do it right Sony. I do have my eye on you
Tags: cartoon, Comics, film, Robotech, sony, Sony Pictures