Robotech Live-Action?

On the “Robotech” movie Tobey Maguire’s producing:

I would love to see a good Robotech movie. I don’t even mind if Maguire plays Rick Hunter – they could do worse.

Last I heard the property was in Licensing Rights Hell. I will believe this is actually in production when reliable on-set reports start filtering out.

I’m not worried about whether the script will be more faithful to Robotech or Macross. When the studio suits are done with it, it will more resemble the Go-Bots. “Geez, you idiot fanboys, it’s just a cartoon.” Otaku who thought that Peter Jackson was spawn of Satan will be utterly enraged, burning down message boards across the ‘Tubes.

Minmei will no longer be Chinese, or ethnic in any way. (Claudia Grant, either.) She will be played by some losing American Idol finalist who will produce a soundtrack album of mildly grating, forgettable songs; this will put her ahead of poor Reba West but still behind Mari Iijima.

The iconic VF-1 Valkyrie, one of the most believable and good-looking transforming mecha in anime history, will no longer strongly resemble an F-14 Tomcat; but be based off of an F-22 Raptor or some Wing Commander refugee, whose transformation sequence only works if you look at something else for several seconds in the middle. (“Hey, where’d Optimus Prime’s trailer go, anyway?”) The SDF-1 Macross will probably fare little better.

Finally, I’m sure I’ll see it at least twice and buy the DVD.

So who would you cast for the main characters? (I just had this mental picture of The Rock as Breetai, which horrified me initially, but is slowly growing on me.)

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  • jdunson says:

    I’m certainly a fan of the original F-14ish Valkyrie, and it did have the advantage that the F-14 is on a very minimal level a transformable plane in real life with the variable wing sweep. The F-22, however, with the weirdly blocky look that comes from the combination of low-speed stealth, high-speed supercruise, and internal weapons… actually looks more like something that could be the result of transformation, compensating for less-sleek jet form with more powerful sci-fi engines. (And, in reality, original F-14 engines, 2x ~20.9k lb; F-22, 2x ~35k lb. More than 30 years makes a difference even without alien technology.)

  • Mikhail says:

    It’s not that I mind F-22s in general. We even know you can transform one – Starscream became one for the Transformers movie. However, I doubt they can do a transforming F-22 in the elegant modular style of the old Valkyries; they’d probably have to do the “shell of armor plates over hundreds of tiny linked bits” trick that Michael Bay used.

    Honestly, there are probably good structural and practical arguments for the latter technique. But I feel that the modular technique is more impressive when pulled off well.

  • I think I’d cast either Michelle Branch or Vanessa Carlton as Minmei. They at least look close to Asian (more mixed ethnic), they can sing, and they probably won’t butcher things too badly.

  • rattrap says:

    Vanessa Hudgens might be another good choice, and she played an Indian character in Thunderbirds (well, at least the puppet Tintin was supposed to be Indian). Of course, the High School Musical crossover could be either good or bad…

  • dpawtows says:

    Another aspect of the modular approach is that it’s more easily duplicated by the toy. And toy sales are an important driver for these things.

  • IEEE!!! NOOO!!!!!!

    Um… That’s the crossover idea. Vanessa Hudgens is a good choice.

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