Gundam's Tomino to Direct Animated Work by Hollywood's Legacy Effects
posted on by Egan Loo
On Tuesday, Gundam anime creator Yoshiyuki Tomino discussed the first projects in his Ookaze no Okorusama producer group's business tie-up with Hollywood special effects studio Legacy Effects. In a Tokyo press conference, Tomino said that he is personally directing a new animated work — without giving the title — with many notable creators in the staff.
In addition to Tomino's new animated work, the two companies are planning to adapt an unnamed children's literary work from publisher Iwanami Shoten into a live-action film. To assure the original work's Japanese fans that the adaptation will be faithful, the concept work on the project will be developed in both Japan and the United States. The American side will handle the script and actual visuals.
Tomino noted, "My career thus far has basically been working in television anime. I considered remaking a past work for the first project [in the business tie-up]. However, since we have not cleared all the rights, I won't be able to tell you. If I could talk about it here, I think you can imagine what kind of work will be made."
He added that Tokyo-based animation production will be tough in the future, but he wanted to build a new production site. He is planning not only projects based on his earlier works, but he muses that he could still make one or two entirely new works "by the time I'm 87."
Legacy Effects' John Robert Rosengrant, Shane Mahan, Lindsay McGowan, and J. Alan Scott joined Tomino at the press conference. Animeanime.jp website founder Tadashi Sudo noted that children's book author Atsuo Saito (Ganba no Bōken, Enchanted Journey) offered a greeting as a guest at the press conference.
Ookaze no Okorusama and Legacy Effects are collaborating in the movie production business — specifically, "movies based on Japanese manga and animation from Hollywood to the world." In addition to the pioneering "real robot" anime franchise Gundam, Tomino also created the anime titles Muteki Chōjin Zambot 3, Muteki Kōjin Daitarn 3, Densetsu Kyojin Ideon, Aura Battler Dunbine, Brain Powered, Overman King Gainer, and more.
Legacy Effects was founded by leading staff members of Stan Winston Studio, the company formed by the legendary special-effects supervisor Stan Winston (Terminator, Jurassic Park, Aliens franchises). Even after Winston passed away in 2008, his partners continued to work on the suits and makeup in such films as Avatar, The Avengers, The Hunger Games, Iron Man 3, and Pacific Rim.
Bandai President Kazunori Ueno confirmed last year that the "anticipated" latest work by Tomino will be unveiled "sometime between 2014 and 2015." Tomino has been drafting a robot project codenamed "G-Reko," and Kadokawa's Gundam Ace magazine reported in 2012 that "G-Reko" would be "entering full-fledged production."
Here is an example of Legacy Effects' work on the Conn Pod in Pacific Rim: