Nic Mathieu has been tapped to direct Robotech, Warner Bros.’ big-budget adaptation of the venerable anime featuring giant mechanical warriors.
The project has major franchise potential — on the scale of Transformers — and has been in development at the studio since 2007. Akiva Goldsman and Tobey Maguire are producing along with Matthew Plouffe, Joby Harold and Tory Tunnell.
Many writers have worked on the screenplay, but this is the first time a director has been in negotiations to board the project.
The producers conducted an exhaustive search in the fall to find a director who could bring a cutting-edge and modern approach to Robotech, which was a 1980s cartoon series from Harmony Gold USA and Japan’s Tatsunoko Productions. It was re-edited and re-dialogued to combine three Japanese anime series to give the producers enough episodes to air as a daily syndicated series.
A sprawling sci-fi epic, Robotech takes place at a time when Earth has developed giant robots from the technology on an alien spacecraft that crashed on a South Pacific island. Mankind is forced to use the technology to fend off three successive waves of alien invasions. The first invasion concerns a battle with a race of giant warriors who seek to retrieve their flagship’s energy source known as “protoculture,” and the planet’s survival ends up in the hands of two young pilots.
The project is a coup for Mathieu, a commercials director whose spots are known for their inventive CG effects but who has yet to make his feature debut.
But Warners already has shown it has plenty of faith in the burgeoning filmmaker: He is attached to direct The Wind, a David Keopp-written sci-fi project that the studio picked up in spring 2012 after being dazzled by his impressive presentation.
Mathieu also is attached to direct The Story of Your Life, an alien drama being produced by Shawn Levy’s 21 Laps.
He is repped by WME, Anonymous Content and Loeb & Loeb.