Japan’s life-size Gundam statue
Photo: Chris McGrath (Getty Images)

Over the summer, Legendary Entertainment announced that it was developing a live-action movie based on the enormous Mobile Suit Gundam anime franchise with original animation studio Sunrise and Pacific Rim: Uprising producer Cale Boyter. That was literally all we knew at the time, but considering Hollywood’s track record on anime adaptations (in which the ones that never get made are the lucky ones), there were plenty of reasons to approach the project with some skepticism. It really just seemed like a matter of time before a name like Akiva Goldsman popped up in association with the Gundam adaptation.

Against all odds, though, an actual writer with actual acclaim has signed on to Legendary’s Gundam movie: Brian K. Vaughan, the writer behind critically acclaimed comics like Y: The Last Man and Saga (he also worked on the Under The Dome TV show, but we won’t mention that). This comes from The Hollywood Reporter, which says Vaughan will be writing the adaptation as part of his new overall deal with Legendary. We still don’t know anything other than that, but it seems like a surprisingly good sign for a live-action anime adaptation coming from an American movie studio, as long as we continue to ignore Under The Dome. 

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As for Gundam itself, the original series was about a teenager named Amuro who gets drafted into a space war against a faction of space colonists who hate the people on Earth for being mean to them. It turns out that Amuro is very good at piloting a big robot called a Gundam, and he becomes the ultimate weapon in the war to maintain Earth’s supremacy—a trope in Gundam is that even the good guys aren’t always “good guys.” The thing about Gundam, though, is that the name has been applied to dozens of different movies and TV shows that aren’t all related to each other, so the Gundam movie could technically be about whatever Vaughan wants it to be about, as long as there’s a teenager operating a giant war machine.