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The 1983 Hollywood Gundam movie that almost was




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Strike105



Joined: 21 Sep 2014
Posts: 23
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2017 2:38 pm Reply with quote
Did a little search today, and found an interesting article in the results:
http://www.zimmerit.moe/when-gundam-came-to-hollywood/

The article's content was supposedly compiled from several sources connected with the canned project, including artist Syd Mead (Blade Runner, Turn A Gundam), Mead's manager Roger Servic, writer/director Chip Proser (Innerspace), and CGI effects artist John Whitney Jr. (The Last Starfighter, Westworld)

The article features several pieces of art, storyboards, and page scans of a supposed first draft script, all of which highlight just how ambitious the project was, and how vastly different the Hollywood film would have been from the source material, had it been adapted.

If everything in this article is legit, I can't imagine how the Gundam fandom and the series as a whole would be affected if the project saw fruition.

Highlights:
*The Hollywood version would be set in a Star Wars-esque universe with alien planets and lifeforms in addition to the space colonies. Earth is never mentioned.

*Most of the film's effects were planned to be made using CGI, in a time long before the effects were commonplace, and before The Last Starfighter proved it was possible.

*Zeon is renamed "Ziong", and it is not a military faction or nation, but a corporate empire headed by a sentient AI system with its own conscripted army, called "Legion".

*Amuro would be renamed "Amaru" (which Proser admits was likely a mistake).

*Char would be renamed "Sha". He would be Amaru's 13 year-old younger brother that would be brainwashed and conscripted by Ziong. He would also remain unmasked.

*There would be no Newtypes, but "psychic headgear" would be present.

*Mobile Suits would be massive 100-meter tall behemoths, as opposed to the much smaller 17-18 meter mechs seen in the series. Instead of having a normal-ish looking seated cockpit with controls and levers, they would be controlled through a kind of "pilot mimicry system" akin to the Mobile Trace System introduced in G Gundam many years later.

*Gundam and Guncannon were to be the initial main protagonist mechs, and some new Gundam derivatives would be introduced later, including the Guntank, and two original mechs: Gunfighter and Gungrenadier. The only Ziong/Legion mechs would be Zaku II/"Zak" and Zak derivatives, including a very Dom-like "Heavy Weapons Zak".
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nobahn
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Joined: 14 Dec 2006
Posts: 4074
PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2017 8:40 pm Reply with quote
There is a phrase used in Hollywood that goes something like: Many are optioned, but few are greenlit.
Wikipedia wrote:
Film industry companies often buy the film rights to many popular novels, video games, and comic books, but it may take years for such properties to be successfully brought to the cinema, and often with considerable changes to the plot, characters, and general tone. [...] As Hollywood starts ten times as many projects as are those released, many scripts will end up in this limbo state. This happens most often with projects that have multiple interpretations and affect several points of view.

[please note that that there is an interesting reference to Akira in the Wikipedia article]
Nothing that happens in Hollywood should come as a surprise to anyone.
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