The Robotech live-action movie being developed by Sony with an eye toward launching a franchise, has reportedly landed IT helmer Andres Muschietti to direct. Efforts to bring Robotech to the big screen have been on-going since at least 2007, when Tobey Maguire was interested in appearing in the film.
Robotech began life as an anime series first released in the United States in 1985, after being cobbled together out of three separate Japanese shows. The very Transformers-sounding story deals with humans fending off invading aliens using tech, including transformable mecha, reverse-engineered from technology salvaged from a crashed alien space craft. The original show ran for 85 episodes, and then was followed by a wave of animated films. The show has also been adapted for comic books, video games, card games and novels.
THR reports that Sony has settled on Mama and IT helmer Andres Muschietti to direct their live-action take on Robotech, which is so early in development that writers have not yet been named. Muschietti was originally rumored to be in the running to direct Justice League Dark for Warner Bros. after Doug Liman dropped out but you can officially take him off the list of potential candidates. Muschietti has also taken the reins on Hulu's Locke and Key TV show pilot, based on the works of Stephen King's son Joe Hill, after Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson has to step down due to a scheduling conflict.
Warner Bros. first acquired the rights to Robotech in 2007 and considered making a live-action film with Spider-Man star Tobey Maguire in the lead role. At one point, Star Wars writer Lawrence Kasdan was hired to do the script, but he dropped out and was replaced by Spider-Man 2 writers Alfred Gough and Miles Millar. As late as 2013, Leonardo DiCaprio was reported to have interest in appearing in the film alongside his old friend Maguire, with commercial director Nic Mathieu at the helm. In 2015, Sony acquired the rights to Robotech and reportedly tapped James Wan to direct, but Wan eventually passed to focus on directing Aquaman for Warner Bros.
Andres Muschietti is an interesting choice to tackle the epic sci-fi of Robotech, given that thus far he has only worked in the horror realm. Clearly folks at Sony are convinced that Muschietti is ready to move on from directing horror to tackling a big-budget potential franchise-launcher - one that would see him following in the footsteps of the likes of Transformers director Michael Bay and Pacific Rim auteur Guillermo del Toro.
Excitement is high for Muschietti's adaptation of Stephen King's IT, as evidenced by the huge numbers put up by the film's teaser trailer, and plans are for the movie to be followed by a sequel that tackles the adult versions of the movie's kid characters. With Robotech still very early in the development process, it seems that Muschietti could direct the IT sequel and still hang around to bring the anime property to the screen.