Giant Fucking Robots

The power of Gigantor is in Bryan Barber‘s hand. The music video and Idlewild director grew tired of being passed over for bigger budget gigs, so he decided to buy the rights (including toys and video games) for a movie-ready concept that, according to Deadline Toyama, he’s describing as Transformers meets The Goonies. That’s some solid math right there. The project he’s picked is Gigantor – the Americanized anime version of Tetsujin 28-go – which features an incredibly large robot controlled by a 12-year-old boy by remote. The television show was on in the 60s, around the same time as Speed Racer, and it saw a mild resurgence in the 90s. This is a shrewd move by Barber who clearly wants to take control of his own directorial destiny. It’s unclear whether the gambit will work (as it depends on a studio or financier believing first in the project and second in Barber as the right director for it), but it would be unbelievably fantastic to see the giant tin can up on the big screen. It would no doubt be a tonal cousin to The Iron Giant – a movie that makes me cry just thinking about it – and it has the potential to be a major hit with kids of all ages. Plus, Gigantor is just damn cool. You can check out some of the original animation in this video (while checking out the theme song being performed by 90s alt-metal slackers Helmet):

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With Michael Bay gone (for the foreseeable future) and Shia Labeouf done with the franchise professionally, the next incarnation of Transformers will most definitely look different. Without the auteur subtlety of Bay, producer Don Murphy will need to go to someone else, and there aren’t many who can handle large action sequences with as much skill (at least not many who would want the job). Still questioning whether we’ll see more of the giant robots? Murphy posted on his website (via /film), saying “What happens next? Certainly not a reboot. We haven’t lost the Transformers. They didn’t grow up or become expensive like Toby Maguire. I don’t know what happens next. I’m pretty sure there will be a second trilogy. I am pretty sure it will kick ass. And I am pretty sure some of you will hate it because it wasn’t all bots.” So if the producer is pretty sure they’ll make more, what should they look like? What problems can the fix? What elements should be kept the same? What do you want to see in future Transformers movies?

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There was no telling where the Transformers franchise was going to go after Revenge of the Fallen, and it looks like the only answer was the destruction of everything we know. The first trailer for Transformers: Dark of the Moon feels like it gives away a lot, so be warned, but it also gives away a giant metal set of tentacles ravaging a skyscraper, the utter despair of losing the world to an alien race, and a whole hell of a lot of explosions. “Years from now, they’re going to ask, ‘Where were you when they took over the planet?’” Check it out for yourself:

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