Question 5: This question is based in part on one submitted by Gyu
Sang Lee. There are always rumors of a live action Gundam movie in development somewhere. Do you think there is a possibility for a live action movie, and if so, who would you like to see in it?
Chris: As we all know, the only live action project for Gundam so far
is G-Saviour. It's no secret that I have no love for that movie. I don't think a live action Gundam movie in America is a possibility. If something that's as popular as DBZ can't even pull it off, I don't think Gundam can. Besides, the recent trend in Hollywood is for sci-fi movies to be big budget popcorn spectacles with tons of explosions and special effects, but not much in the way of story. I don't want to see a Gundam live action movie with Will Smith as Amuro Ray, Lindsay Lohan as Lalah Sune and Colin Farrell as Char Aznable. In a fanboy's dream, I think if you gave Peter Jackson enough money and a free hand, he could probably make a great live action version of the MSG trilogy. But that's not going to happen, so for now I think Gundam is better served by staying anime only.
David: With the right technology and combination of actors, it's a
possibility. But it's not something we're likely to see sometime soon. I
would like to see Peter Jackson do it if there was one, as he seems to be
one of the only directors to have a feel for the true spirit of things. As long as Vin Diesel played an enemy pilot and died horribly, I would probably see it. As for G-Saviour, I hope we never see the likes of that again.
Brian: My response to this is the same response I have for any anime live
action attempt, whether its Evangelion, DBZ, or anything else. These shows are in that medium for a reason. It's the best fit for them. From a
budgetary standpoint, Gundam is obviously something that simply doesn't
work. Space colonies, mobile suits, these things cost quite a lot of money. While we are now in an age where it is possible from a technological standpoint to put these things in a movie, I don't think they'd be able to get it at a budget that would be feasible. Not just that, but Gundam is obviously best suited for television. Movie versions haven't always exactly worked, and those that did like Char's Counterattack had nearly 150 episodes of build up to support it. I simply don't think a good enough storyline could be produced at the short running time of a live action movie. Particularly because the fact that it is live action would likely mean the sacrifices of some of the things that makes Gundam so interesting to us because of the pure fact that you have to make sacrifices when you're working on a higher profile production. I won't be disappointed if Gundam remains in the anime medium for the remainder of it's life.
Mark: This is kind of a weird question, eh? I don't know enough about the
inner workings of Hollywood to speculate about the likelihood of a live-
action Gundam, although surely it must be extremely small. As for who I'd
like to see in it... well, I'm a big fan of Famke Janssen and Milla Jovovich, so I'd be happy to see them get some extra work. If it means this imaginary big-screen Gundam has some decent female characters,
scheming and smoldering and kicking butt, then so much the better. (I
also enjoy Crispin Glover, but somehow I can't see him flying a mobile suit.)
Question 6: Our final question was submitted by Bobbi Cottuli. How do you think mecha from other anime series has played a role in the design of the mecha for the various Gundam series, and vice versa.
Chris: It's definitely something that goes back and forth. Even though
the RX-78 Gundam is a real robot, it is still rooted in the super robot aesthetic with samurai armor flair. Some of Kunio Okawara's later series such as Dragonar have a Gundam-ish look to them. The transforming real robot craze set off by Macross was definitely an influence on the designs of Zeta Gundam (and just about every other show in that era). I can't think of any more modern examples of other anime series influencing Gundam.
David: Not being a real veteran of other robot anime, I can't comment in
depth on this. I think being around since 1979, Gundam is seen really as a foundation...a sort of standard in anime. I don't know my old anime, but
what was there before then? Not anything I can really remember that's still around today in force. I think all anime uses Gundam to some extent as a reminder of what they need to shoot for, some more than others. Gundam uses itself as influence (those SEED DESTINY ZAKUs) since it is so vast :)
Brian: Well the original Gundam was certainly influenced by the 3-part super robots that were around before it. This lasted past Gundam to Tomino's work in Ideon as well, before Tomino essentially retired from those type of robots. Macross' transformable mecha was another influence for Zeta, as has already been mentioned. After that? That's a tough one. Influence within the various series is very easy to point out. But from outside animes, I can't really list one off the top of my head outside of the ones above.
Mark: To some extent Gundam's become a genre unto itself - what happens in the realm of Gundam mecha design doesn't really affect the rest of the anime industry, which has moved on a long time ago, and Gundam mostly recycles itself now instead of drawing on outside influences. The main development of the past ten years, I think, is the way that Gundam has borrowed the formula of live-action "sentai" shows (think Power Rangers), with every show featuring a lineup of five almighty heroes with colorful robots and dramatic personalities...