The animated sci-fi saga is back in development for a live action release — 82nd time’s the charm?

© Harmony Gold

Classic anime series Robotech is headed (back) to the big screen, with Warner Bros once again attempting to get a live action take on the sci-fi series off the ground. The studio has had rights to the property since 2007, but production has repeatedly stalled.

The original Robotech series, an American adaptation by production company Harmony Gold, edited together three Japanese shows: Super Dimension Fortress MacrossSouthern Cross, and Genesis Climber Mospeada. Airing in the US in 1985, before coming to the UK years later on the Sci-Fi Channel, it followed three generations of soldiers and freedom fighters using advanced weaponry and transforming vehicles to defend the Earth from several alien invasions.

Since the original 85-episode run repeated efforts have been made by Harmony Gold to continue the saga as either an animation or live action production. Warners’ own attempts have been just as fruitless, despite filmmakers and actors including Tobey Maguire, Lawrence Kasdan, Akiva Goldsman, and Leonardo DiCaprio expressing interest in the project.

The latest movie effort is set to be written by 300 and G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra’s Michael Gordon, and produced by Gianni Nunnari and Mark Canton, both also previously attached to 300. There is no word on whether Macguire, long attached as a producer, is still involved.

There is no director in the running yet, but Deadline reports that Andy Muschietti is favoured by the producers. The Spanish director, known for horror films such as Mama, would certainly be an outside choice but could give a distinct vision to the project.

The big question is whether there’s is an for Robotech. Unlike other animated classics that have leapt to the silver screen thanks to the power of nostalgia, the original series was never a phenomenon along the lines of Transformers or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Harmony Gold’s most recent attempt to revive the series in animation via Kickstarter was a killed before it could fail.

There’s every chance that the right treatment could turn Robotech into a massive modern hit and hopefully the latest developments will see something actually get into production.

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