Back in March, word emerged that director Matthew Gratzner and special effects artist Jules Urbach are spearheading a feature film adaption of "Gaiking," based on a '70s Japanese anime series that is better known in America as part of the "Shogun Warriors" toy line.
Gratzner and Urbach also released an impressive teaser trailer when the initial announcement was made. And while the film is still looking for a home, the filmmakers will soon be searching for potential screenwriters, according to Urbach.
"I guess you can say we're in preproduction," said Urbach during an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. "The reason we released the teaser when we did is we're done designing the robot." And even a lot of the costumes and the characters."
"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," he added. "That should be done in the next three months."
"And we're looking at 2012 as a potential release date," added Urbach. "But it's not set. It could be 2013."
Urbach also offered his assessment on how "Gaiking" differs from other popular giant robot series, including "Transformers" and "Voltron."
"'Voltron' really took off because of the great cartoon," related Urbach. "'Gaiking' never had that and neither did 'Shogun Warriors' as a whole. The only thing we had was 'Force Five' here in the U.S. And that was only shown on the East coast for a little bit. I can only imagine how this property would have been perceived if we had a normal cartoon."
"Gaiking and those kinds of robots, you're talking about giant robots that are piloted by humans," continued Urbach. "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."
When asked why the film will be called 'Gaiking' and not 'Shogun Warriors,' Urbach replied "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?"
A new "Shogun Warriors" comic series from Dynamite is reportedly in the works, under the creative direction of Alex Ross.
Which robots from "Shogun Warriors" do you want to see on the big screen? Would you prefer "Gaiking" as a completely CGI movie or mixed in with live action? Let us know what you're thinking in the comment section or on Twitter!