Shogun Warrior ‘Gaiking’ Trailer

Published 5 years ago by , Updated March 3rd, 2014 at 6:28 am,

gaiking teaser 1 Shogun Warrior Gaiking Trailer

Director Matthew Gratzner and special-effects guru Jules Urbach have been in the throws of bringing to life a key member of the 1970s Japanese anime series Shogun Warriors for a new feature film.

Gratzner and Urbach unveiled an awesome-looking teaser trailer for Gaiking at the 2010 Tokyo Animation Fair in March. The scene is reminiscent of the recent War of the Worlds film – with the massive robot Gaiking rising from beneath a city street.

Check out the trailer after the jump:

It looks like a pretty impressive ride, but the makers of Gaiking the movie just need someone to hop into the driver’s seat and thrash out a script.

Urbach has told The Hollywood Reporter that he and Gratzner just need a screenwriter – so they can expand the existing treatment.

“I guess you can say we’re in pre-production. The reason we released the teaser when we did is we’re done designing the robot. We basically put as much as was ready to be shown in the teaser. And the next step is get a writer — we have a treatment for the movie — and get a full-blown script. That should be done in the next three months.”

gaiking 2 Shogun Warrior Gaiking Trailer

The Shogun Warriors are a group of super robots, headed by Gaiking (the ‘Demon Dragon of the Heavens’), who were built by scientists here on Earth to help ward off an invading alien race known as the Dark Horror Army from planet Zela. Think Transformers but with humans in the cockpits.

The Toei Animation series ran for almost a year on Japanese TV (44 episodes from April 1976 to January 1977). Shogun Warriors gained a cult following in the United States and enjoyed its own toyline from Mattel as well as a Marvel comic book series.

The live-action Gaiking film was born out of a seven-minute short Gratzner and Urbach intended to show with David Fincher’s Heavy Metal remake.

The trailer, and proposed film, use Lightstage, a state-of-the-art scanning technology developed by Urbach. A technology that Fincher used in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Oscar-winning technology.

“But Heavy Metal, it was at Paramount at one point, it was at another studio, then Cameron got involved, and it lost its home. We ended up taking Gaiking and just worked on it and worked on it, and it kept building and building …  And at some point, Toei said, ‘Wait a minute, you guys can do a whole movie now at this quality’. They backed us and then other people came on board and we were able to turn this into a pretty big film.”

Gaiking Shogun Warrior Gaiking Trailer
While those unfamiliar with Gaiking, and there’s probably a lot of you (particularly outside of Japan), will undoubtedly liken the franchise to recent box-office sensation Transformers - Urbach believes there is enough in the Shogun Warriors universe to differentiate them from the Autobots.

“Gaiking and those kinds of robots, you’re talking about giant robots that are piloted by humans. You’re not talking about Transformers, where they are their own characters. These robots are the extension of the pilots; they are really like giant suits of armor. So it’s really the people inside them that are the characters. That is a huge differentiator. Gaiking is one pilot. It’s really the pilot expressing himself through this giant mecha.”

Urbach expects Gaiking to hit screens in late 2012 or early 2013, with the potential of introducing the rest of the Shogun Warriors gang in possible future films:

“We wanted to introduce one robot and thought it should be the focus of the film. It’s like you want to introduce Superman before you introduce the Justice League, right?”

So what do we think? Look impressive enough? Or are we all roboted out after two servings of Transformers?

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

TAGS: Gaiking
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  1. Not bad, after seeing this Im hoping some that the Voltron movie can be decent or a Zone of the Enders movie can be made.

    • I can hardly wait for the storm to come out oh and by the way please remake giant robot..!

  2. The irony is that transformers was kinda a ripoff of the original Shogun Warriors (which I had as a kid, and were really weird and cool)

  3. As a pretty hardcore super robot fan, I have some concerns.
    Number one, the cockpit is too complicated. It looks very “Real Mech” if you know what I mean. All you need to operate a super robot is a vew levers and lots of voice commands shouted in as hot-blooded a manner as possible.
    The pilot’s uniform is similarly drab. Super robot pilot uniforms are typically very bright and colorful. We’re talking scarves that blow dramatically in the wind, bright gloves, etc. This is just so generic looking.

    As for the mech itself, it’s a step in the right direction, the overall outline is great. But why all the superfluous surface detail, all these exposed looking bits of machinery and moving parts? It’s the same problem as the transformers from the Bay movies. It makes it look almost fragile (although the thickness of the build here counteracts that a bit) and makes it more confusing to look at than it should be. In action scenes, each combatant should be easily distinguishable. All that detail increases the chances of not being able to tell where the robot ends and the background, rubble, or enemy begins in a close quarters fight.
    And why, why, why, WHY the muted colors? What’s wrong with a little vibrancy, a little pop? Just like overcomplicated designs, the muted colors make things hard to distinguish.
    Where did this idea come from that bright colors somehow “don’t work” onscreen? I’ve seen them work all the time.
    Take a lesson from whatever glorious soul made this. He may be guilty of darkening the colors a teensy bit, but this is how movie super robots should look, if you ask me:
    Seems link posting isn’t working. Type “Real Mazinger” into google image search and it’s the first link on the bottom row, 512 x 710

    • I don’t know anything about the show but if this robot was a military weapon, I would understand the drab color. But one thing came to me watching the teaser; Gaiking is suppose to be the hero, right? Well, coming out of the ground, looks like cars were being trashed and I’m sure people were in those cars. I would have made it look like it was coming out of a plain, where no one was around (a secret weapons depot). Does look promising though.

      • Well that’s the thing, it’s not really a military weapon.
        Robots in the “Super robot” genre are more like giant mechanical superheroes.

        • which most started out as some form of weapon or modified to become a weapon

  4. looks nice

  5. That is one of the sickest Trailers I’ve seen in a long time!!! I have hope for this! There is promise! I am keeping my eyes and fingers and toes crossed! We’ve stepped into an era where B movies can give us the kind of special effects and quality of a movie from the 90′s. I think this could be really special if story turns out right! Cult Classic anyone? Here is hoping!

  6. I remember the Shogun Warrior toys from the 1970s … I was unaware they were based on an anime show.

    What I’d like to see even more than this is a Battletech / Mechwarrior movie. After seeing the mecha in Transformers, District 9, Avatar, and now this …

  7. “Think Transformers but with humans in the cockpits.”

    More like, “Think every Anime Robot series”.

  8. Can I get a set of Code Geass movies at this point plz? I mean they have the technology, the script is right there (the anime storyline needs no changing). Can it just happen? plznthx

  9. you just can’t beat giant robots.

  10. Freaking awesome, very well done !!

  11. Better than Transformers

  12. What about Gundam?

    I thought that was the forerunner in piloted mech suits.
    Theres also like a bazillion more hours of source material to help produce a film.

    To gundams discredit though, they pretty much whored out every chance they got lol.

    • What do you mean?

  13. Is Mazinger Z from that………..”gang”? I get a Mazinger Z feeling to it..

    • Yes it was. Although in the USA it was known as Mazinga. Mazinga was always the most popular Shogun Warrior toy. This was probably in no small part due to its face resembling that of Darth Vader.

  14. I’m yelling ROBOTECH!!!! Finally give a brotha what he needs. Man it’s great to see that we can finally make these type of films possible now.

    • No. Damn. Doubt. At this point Hollywood is utterly out of ideas, so why not adapt a truly monumental series that was a monster hit on both sides of the Pacific?? Macross/Robotech spearheaded the second wave of anime fandom in the West, practically defined 80′s geekdom and spawned many follow-ons and sequels. It was influenced not only by what had come before (Star Blazers, et al) but by American shows like Battlestar Galactica. It had drama and character rarely found outside of Hollywood’s best offerings. The Transformers haven’t lived up to their potential, but perhaps their kiddy-fare origins are somewhat to blame. Macross screams for the big-budget, no-compromise trilogy treatment. If Hollywood learned anything from LOTR, Robotech is their chance to prove it.

      • I couldn’t agree more. I would prefer to see a Macross movie over a Robotech movie, but either way it would rock. Can you imagine with today’s special effects the sight of Valkyries fighting amongst a capital ship battle featuring the SDF-1? It would be mind blowing!

  15. Why Gaiking?! What a DUMB looking robot, with that big pumpkin face for a body. I grew up with Shogun Warriors, and ANY of the other robots would have been a better choice (Mazinger for example, whose design is far superior). Gaiking represents the WORST, cheesiest elements of 70′s anime design work. Thank God that Gundam came along and wiped out that look, except for purposes of parody or nostalgia.

  16. Hmm… appears to be cgi. I’m always up for some giant robot action. Definately dont think the hero should be popping up through the street and crushing cars….

  17. I also can’t help but think it looks A LOT more like a (early) PS2 game opening sequence than a “movie trailer”.

  18. You know, it’s wonderful that we all think positively and not negatively towards up-coming movies and that we give directors the benefit of the doubt that their movies seem to rock even before its release date and all that, buuut, lets think for a minute. We all have seen the movies that we anticipated were good and are not, and when reviewing we totally bash everything about it. And then we totally forget about the excitement that we had before and not think, “Man, I shoulda never hoped for that to be any good. I wasted enery and joy..” or somethin like that….. but I’m tellin ya, if this movie is no good, I just can’t wait to hear what you guys say.

  19. I have been watching anime since the early 1970′s. How exciting that 30+ years later, a live-action movie will possibly be made about giant robots from that era! The trailer looks good; just have to hope the movie will be as well. If not, it’s just entertainment after all. You never know what will come next. I think it’s great that someone is even trying to make this kind of movie. Reminds me of my childhood days, waiting for the next episode to come on t.v. If this does make it to the big screen, don’t worry, it will probably be a decent movie. Just sit back, and enjoy the adventure with the hope that more will come later!

  20. I grew up watching these robot animes and I have to say, this live action Gaiking has lots of potential. I do hope this project does get off the ground and will usher in the entry of other live action versions of the giant mecha cartoons I really enjoyed as a kid.

    One thing I found funny back then was, whenever the pilot of these mechas are going to use a weapon to attack the enemy, they have to literally “shout out” the weapon of choice. Later, I just thought that perhaps such weapons systems are “voice activated” but heck, why shout it out? They’re giving the enemy the chance to counter the attack! Okay, perhaps another reason for this is a sort of “breaking the 4th wall” technique to allow the audience to know the name of the weapon being used (that would work wonders for merchandising the toy versions…hehe).

    And…it was mentioned here that the cockpit of the Gaiking robot looks too complicated. I would agree with this. I mean, we’re talking about piloting a war machine that would imitate the full range of motion of humans. Controlling these movements would, for me, require more than just a combination of pulling, pushing joysticks or levers; or stomping on foot pedals. The controls would have to be modified in such a way that the robot would simply follow the movement of the pilot. This kind of control mechanism is the one used in the anime series called Daimos (my favorite, hands down). An American live-action film titled “Robot Jox” also used this method.

    Anyway, these are just my opinion on the subject matter. And I am hoping to see this Gaiking movie in the theaters really soon!

  21. I’m hoping its not just another giant robot story. what’s next Johnny Sokko? or the Space Giants?

  22. @Nico Toscani: You really haven’t watched much anime from the Go Nagai era, did you? Gaiking was one of the most interesting, non-generic looking giant robos, a design that was later used on Daltanious. Both are equally great designs and look timeless.

    Mazinger which you mentioned had 2 iterations. There was the original Mazinger Z and Great Mazinger. As for the Darth Vader look, now see here. Mazinger Z came out in 1974.

    I hope the Gaiking movie isn’t so liberally adapted (the revival of the name “Shogun Warriors” is quite disturbing to me) that they’d drop out 1/2 of the Gaiking team: the base ship Daiku Maryu AKA the Space Dragon. Without the Space Dragon there would be no “Daiku Maryu Gaiking”, which is the full name of the series.

  23. My favorite Force Five cartoons from that era were Grandizer(Grendiazer/Golderake) and Starvengers, both being Giant Robots. There were 5 movies from the Force Five/Jim Terry productions: Grandizer, Starvengers, Gaiking, Danguard Ace and Spaceketeers. I’m hoping Gullermo Del Toro’s Pacific Rim movie with be exceptional, as most if not all of his works are! This should then pave the way for a Voltron or Robotech/Gundam live action movie.