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GAIKING and some other SHOGUN WARRIORS are coming to our future! Biggest Thing Ever?

Hey folks, Harry here with an exclusive that really makes my heart soar! SHOGUN WARRIORS are a staple from a Seventies childhood. Remember this:

I certainly do. The reason I landed this exclusive is that 10 years ago I wrote about the dream of a SHOGUN WARRIORS film. Yesterday, whilst minding my own affairs the phone rang with a Jules Urbach on the phone. Who? Well - if you watch the making of THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTONS - and specifically if you watch the "how they made Brad into Ben" you saw some amazing work on the LIGHTSTAGE process. Well... Jules and that story I wrote go way back. He showed it to Cameron and David Fincher - and they decided to make GAIKING/SHOGUN WARRIORS a part of Fincher's epic HEAVY METAL project. It was going to be a 7 minute short for that film... They began doing work on it. Began heavy development... And the work got noticed... Jules began acquiring the rights to make a feature length GAIKING / SHOGUN WARRIORS flick. Getting the rights to multiple characters from that universe. Which ones - I'm afraid we won't know much more about which ones till Comic Con this year.

Now before you start screaming about GIANT ROBOTS... technically speaking - they're enormous Power Armor in Robot look and style. But the film that Jules was going on about ... well, tis epic, what they're going to try to attempt.

Today - I got sent a ton of materials. I'm still going through it all - and throughout the day - I'll be adding a few more pieces here and there.

Now for the bad news. I conducted a fantastic 1 hour interview with Jules and the director of this film, Matthew Gratzner. You might have read that he's doing the live action UFO movie based upon Gerry Anderson's classic British show. That is still happening btw. What has he done that you've seen... well... here's his bio:
Matthew is the co-founder of the premiere visual effects house New Deal Studios. He is a veteran visual effects designer whose feature film credits include: SHUTTER ISLAND, HANCOCK, THE DARK KNIGHT, IRON MAN, THE AVIATOR, RESIDENT EVIL: EXTINCTION, SUPERMAN RETURNS, NATIONAL TREASURE, ALIEN: RESURRECTION amongst many others. A few of the directors Matthew has worked with are: Steven Spielberg, Christopher Nolan, Peter Berg, Roland Emmerich, Michael Bay, Jon Favreau, Jon Turtletaub, Coen Brothers and Darren Aronofsky. His work for the Tom Hanks and HBO series ‘From The Earth To The Moon’, earned him an Emmy nomination for Special Visual Effects. THE AVIATOR brought him a British Academy Award nomination, a Golden Satellite Award, and three Visual Effects Society Awards. Additionally, his work on the Halo 3 ‘Believe’ campaign earned him another VES Award win, a Clio and a Gold Lion at Cannes.

Well - the bad news is... I lost the audio on the interview instantly - because I am about as technically adept as Sam Neill in JURASSIC PARK. For this I apologize to you as well as Jules and Matthew - as the interview was very indepth.

We talked about how the film isn't just set on Earth... but on other planets in the universe. At one point, "we'll have more Shogun Warriors than ever appeared in the Marvel Comics - and that got me giggly. If they decide to do 3D - it'll be a post process - due to how much the practical, the LightStage and the CG all come to play. But the key is - they're taking what Fincher told them to heart. David told Jules that he has to make sure to tell a great story, above and beyond what great tech they use for the robots.

Sigh. That's good advice... but the way these guys are shooting this. Well, I love mad geniuses. Folks like Guillermo Del Toro - who wants to shoot AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS in Antarctica because it's the best most convincing way to capture the cold and the light that exists down there. It will be an insane shoot - but goddamn it - it must be done.

For GAIKING... hold onto your bowels...

We are building the robots life size. Matt is one of the last great practical effects guys in the business who can pull this off. We will bring you to the set and give you first shot at seeing them. If you want, we can have you put out those first images of what the finished versions look like. The teaser we have now is CG for the robot. It is to give the fans a taste of the design we are going with, but it is not a true reveal given what we are going to be doing when we build the thing. The real deal is going to be mind blowing of course.

That came from one of the emails I've received from Jules. And we talked at length about it. This is a film that is getting made. This isn't a what if. They put the money together via foreign investors - and they have enough to build the robots... LIFE SIZE. Then... at a life size scale - they'll scan them into the computer at full scale resolution and image. And then they're going to come to life in a way that... will probably destroy our minds.

Jules was talking to me from Japan, while Matt was in Los Angeles. The DAIKING trailer was debuting at a Japanese Anime convention out there. Be prepared though - AICN is going to cover this deep throat fashion. The concept that these crazy awesome super geeks are building life size SHOGUN WARRIORS... it boggles my mind. We've all seen in Japan - how a couple of communities have built large scale giant robots - but these are truly giant.

I asked why - in a kind of rhetorical manner. I mean - I certainly know why I'd want to build real Giant robots... it's because I feel it is the destiny of mankind to build Giant Robots. I feel it in my bones. When I played with these toys as a kid - when those of us that did play with them. That was the dream. I loved having the full size SHOGUN TOYS and had them fight my giant GODZILLA toy and RODAN toy - as the Star Wars, Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers, Clash of the Titans figures all cowered in abject fear.

They had their own reasons. It is for perspective, for light, for shadow and textures. It is so they can have the actors interact... stand on the shoulder, upon the open palm of the robot. For dust, grime and even some practical effects upon the body of it. Ultimately... don't question anyone that's willing to build actual size giant robots. It needs to be done. Right? RIGHT!

Now... Here's AICN's Exclusive Teaser Trailer for GAIKING....


or: 420p or 720p or 1080p

This is essentially some of their test work. Both Matt and Jules really wanted me to let you all know that while they like what you see here... this is essentially just the CG model - not what you'll see in the film. Jules said he wanted all of you to know the look they are aiming for - instead of doing like what Emmerich and Devlin did with Godzilla where they hid it from y'all. This is a film where the creators are not afraid. They want us to examine it. Because these guys have been Shogun Warrior nuts as long as the property has existed. Just like me.

One of the things I really dug about these guys was how open they were. How giddy they were to be pulling the veil back a bit. GAIKING will be the name for the film. They're aiming for release in 2012... since no movies can be released in 2013 - on account of the end of the world. But they did mention that if, geek willing, they get to do the sequel - which is plotted out - the likely title would be SHOGUN WARRIORS.

People... check back at this article on Monday when I'll add some behind the scenes photos to this. In the meanwhile - I want you to think about the times we live. An enormous budgeted Shogun Warrior film is kicking off with the dragon chested member leading the way! Let's hear it for Dr HighTech. Heh. But also - look around at everything else that's going on - we're beginning to see enormous collective dreams marching toward the screen. There's no doubt the crappy TRANSFORMERS movies have led the way for this - but unlike Michael Bay - these guys are genuinely obsessive with the source material - the grander genre of Anime itself. There's more to this film than just Giant Robots - there's other worlds, other tech, possibly critters and more. The shot of Gaiking in New York that you see - is actually from a flashback sequence - as that Earth could possibly be different. These are filmmakers that want to use all the toys in the bag of tricks to pull it off. Including building the robots on a 1:1 scale.

And from the sound of things - I'll be there to give us all the first glimpse of a full scale GAIKING. Any pictures will no doubt have me crying like that time in the woods when I got bent over that log.... that's right tears of joy! More info as it comes... but before I go - Jules' team won an Academy Award last month for the advances their LightStage Technology has given with Ben Buttons and Avatar. He tells me that the tech has gotten much better since that - resulting in realtime rendering of 4k quality imagery that will blow our minds. WME is handling all the financing and international rights - and the film is also backed by TOEI Studios. Alex Ross has been mentoring on the project and will be doing covers for a new SHOGUN WARRIORS series that Dynamite is involved in.

God, can you imagine... We might be seeing a film with some of GAIKING's friends joining him. Enormous robots like Raydeen, Dragun, Mazinger Z, Daimos, Dangard, Voltus V, Combattra... who knows? All I know is... it is coming. For real. At Fucking Last!

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