In 2018, Legendary Pictures announced they’d officially be working with Sunrise to make a live-action adaption of the legendary anime franchise, Gundam. Hollywood anime adaptions have had a rough go of things up until now with the abysmal Dragon Ball Evolution, not great Ghost in the Shell, and so-so Alita: Battle Angel all springing to mind.
We’re still waiting on the first truly great anime adaption, and a legendary franchise like Gundam could be just the one to do that. But there are a few things we think the film needs to do if it’s really going to claim that spot.
Big anime or comic adaptions are huge money sinks these days, with a truckload of CG effects. And yet, there could be a better way to do things for Gundam, by mixing computer effects with practical effects.
Gundam has always had a grittier, more realistic aesthetic, versus the shinier sci-fi aesthetic of something like Star Trek. This is something that’d be more properly represented by opting for a few practical effects. This is something that other films have done in the past, like The Force Awakens, or even last year’s First Man.
Hand-crafting mobile suit cockpits and the inside of ships would go a long way toward making everything more believable. Obviously, the bulk of the mobile suit action will have to be done in CG, but there are plenty of opportunities for practical effects in a Gundam movie.
Opting for nothing but CG would give the film that trademark “shiny” look, but by mixing in practical effects the Gundam movie could better emulate the more realistic feel of its anime counterpart.