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Checking In On The Status Of Four Live Action Movie Adaptations

We know over the last 10 years or so Hollywood has really amped up their production of reboots and other older famous franchises that hadn’t yet been made into movies. I thought we’d take take a look at 4 different properties that have been announced but are currently languishing in production hell.

Robotech

Rights Acquired: 2007

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I’m a big Robotech fan, specifically the Macross Saga (the first 36 episodes of the American series). To briefly sum it up America took 3 different Japanese TV shows and cut them up and reedited them to make 3 distinct stories across different generations of an Earth conflict. The Macross Saga involves an alien craft that lands on Earth and lies dormant for decades until a different alien race finally tracks it down and wages war on our planet. It’s a surprisingly touching cartoon for the 80’s (which clearly means its Japanese) that shows the horrors and real life effects of war and love during a time of conflict. Plus really, really cool human piloted planes that transform into robots.

The live action film got a pretty big boon when Tobey Maguire actively trumpeted it and signed on as producer for Warner Brothers and a slew of other names have been attached at various points. Lawrence Kasdan as a writer and even Leonardo DiCaprio has expressed interest in being the lead role (Rick Hunter, we assume?). Recently, the film got another big lift when it was announced that the Hollywood Gang, Gianni Nunnario and Mark Canton would be producing, with Michael Gordon writing who penned scripts 300 and G.I. Joe: The Rise Of Cobra and director Andy Muschietti. Those names don’t mean much to me, but I’ll take it as a good sign that the project is still alive and well.

This movie, if done right has a good chance of being a massive success. Guardians Of The Galaxy paved the way for blockbuster Sci-Fi action movies again and Pacific Rim has shown the world that people still can’t get enough of massive fighting robots. The story is an excellent one that defies most 80’s cartoons and as a lot of heart, which goes a long way for movie audiences. This out of all the other movies we’ll look at here is the most likely to actually become a reality.

Castlevania

Rights Acquired: 2005

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This one breaks my heart most. We all know that video games have really never had a well made movie adaptions, but if handled properly this could be the one to buck the system. A dark gothic tale of Dracula interwoven with the legend of the Belmont family sworn to protect the world from his evil seems like a slam dunk to me. It definitely has the most potential on the list.

Paul W.S. Anderson of Resident Evil movie fame has been signed on from the start and began scouting locations in Hungary, Romania and Transylvania. Script re-writes, director switches from Sylvain White back to Anderson have all been a factor in delaying it. Now it seems the rights are something of an issue (but really why wouldn’t a video game franchise that’s no longer a major player NOT want to have a sweeping big budget movie made about their games?) and we’ve reached a point of stagnation yet again. Hell, I’d even take an animated adaption, well at least if it was done in the 80s anime style but I don’t think we’ll be seeing any Castlevania movies anytime soon.

Voltron

Rights Acquired: 2005

We all know the story of Voltron right?

This one seems like it would likely be a terrible live action movie but would have a window of success due to Transformers money making formula.  Initially, Mark Gordon was set to produce with Max Makowski directing but the film has been set back due to script revisions and legal battles over the rights.

The story while somewhat changed is said to take place in NYC with the pilots forming Voltron to fend off an alien invasion. Concept art for the project was even released as far back as 2010! This is another one that I wouldn’t get your hopes up about actually happening.

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Akira

Rights Acquired: 2002

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It makes sense that Hollywood would snatch up the rights for this. It’s easily one of the most successful and well known animes to ever make its way over to America in the early days of the boom. The names attached to this film through the last 12 years is astounding.  Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon Levitt, Zac Efron, Morgan Freeman, James Franco, Mila Kunis, Michael Fassbender, Justin Timberlake, Joaquin Phoenix, Chris Pine, Andrew Garfield, James McAvoy, Keanue Reeves, Ken Watanabe, Helena Bonham Carter, Kiera Knightley and Gary Oldman had been in talks at one point or another. Clearly, Hollywood knows the potential of how big this film could be. Spanish director, Jaume Collet-Serra has been attached to direct since 2011 and recently revealed he was taking a break from directing in general and no further progress on the film had been made. Although, he thinks it’s a possibility that Warner Brothers will continue to move forward with it. So take that as you will.

With a big budget live action adaptation of Ghost In The Shell with Scarlet Johansson becoming a reality this is seemingly more and more likely.

So there you have it. Will any of these adaptations ever reach the big screen? Only time will tell.

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About Biff Tannen

Film Noir, Pulp, Comic Books and Hitchcock.

Posted on March 9, 2015, in Movies and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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