Robotech Live Action Movie Nabs Hawkeye Director Rhys Thomas

A Veritch in robot mode strikes a pose in front of the giant Macross spaceship as it sails through space.

Screenshot: Big West/Harmony Gold

The protoculture must flow… finally? The live-action Robotech movie, which has been in development since 2007 and has switched multiple writers, directors, and even studios over the years, took a step toward actually happening by hiring Hawkeyes Rhys Thomas to direct the film.

Admittedly, this is a step Robotech—an ’80s cartoon staple and space opera about a giant spaceship that crash-lands on Earth, the transforming robot-jets that protect it, and the giant aliens who want it back—has taken a few times before. Little-known director Nic Matthieu was once in talks for the position, then Aquaman‘s James Wan was hired, and the most recent candidate was It‘s Andy Muschetti—so you might suspect there’s absolutely no reason to believe the fourth time or 15th year will be the charm. However, there is! See, last year, the two studios who have essentially each owned half of Robotech came to an agreement after literal decades of lawsuits that prevented a true live-action adaptation from getting off the ground. (The rights issues are very complicated but very interesting and you can read about them here.)

With those finally cleared up, it is more likely than ever that Robotechwhich some scholars have called the greatest love story of the 20th centurywill finally get off the ground. However, like other live-action adaptations of ’80s franchises that don’t have the nostalgia levels of Transformers, Robotech isn’t nearly as sure a box office hit, which is another reason the space opera might continue to languish. Still, if it does finally end up getting made, the director of Marvel’s excellent Hawkeye seems like a great person to finally bring it to the big screen.


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