The first image from Netflix’s live-action Mobile Suit Gundam movie is here, and it’s looking pretty metal. The image depicts the classic RX-78-2 shrouded in flames, its eyes glowing amid the fire. It appears to be faithful to the design of the original Gundam, which was designed by Kunio Okawara for the classic 1979 anime.
The image, which is said in unconfirmed reports to be concept art, was released by Netflix earlier today. It roughly coincided with several other live-action anime announcements from Netflix Japan, including a Yu Yu Hakusho adaptation. Gundam is one of several planned live-action adaptations on the slate for Netflix, the most notable of them being Cowboy Bebop, which is due to release next week.
First announced back in 2018, the currently untitled Gundam movie is being directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts, who previously directed Kong: Skull Island. Brian K. Vaughan, best-known for his work on the Y: The Last Man comics, is writing the adaptation.
Little is known about the upcoming movie, save that it will be an “access point” for the famously tangled Gundam mythos, according to Vogt-Roberts.
“My goal is for all the people who might say, ‘I don’t know where to start [with Gundam,] I want to create this film and give them an access point where you can say, ‘This is where you start. This is your entry point,” Vogt-Roberts said. “Where Gundam fans say, ‘Yeah, this is my Gundam.'”
The original show was a coming-of-age war drama featuring a teenager named Amuro Ray, who is thrust into piloting the Gundam and gradually matures throughout the conflict. In the years since it has seen several sequels and standalone stories, as well as spinoffs like Mobile Fighter G Gundam, which turns the series into a martial arts anime with superpowers (no, really).
The live-action movie may not necessarily be wholly faithful to the original source material, and instead could function as an “amalgamation” of several timelines. Will that mean that Heero Yuy will randomly drop into UC 0079? We’ll just have to see.
For now, we have this image, which may wind up saying a lot about where Vogt-Roberts ends up taking this adaptation. It still has no release date, so we may end up waiting a while before knowing for sure.
Kat Bailey is a Senior News Editor at IGN