Sunrise announced Monday that American film director Michael Bay will be co-directing their recently-announced Gundam project Mobile Suit Gundam: Tekketsu no Orphans alongside anime veteran Tatsuyuki Nagai. In a press conference on Tuesday, a Sunrise spokesperson said that the development team is looking forward to working with the visionary mind behind such acclaimed films as Transformers: Age of Extinction and the recent Teenaged Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. The spokesperson added that Sunrise hopes that the legendary box office sales of Bay’s live-action movies will translate into increased revenue for Gundam products.
Bay himself was optimistic about his foray into anime. “At first I was a bit nervous about breaking into a cartoon medium like anime,” he told reporters following the announcement. “But when you think about it, most of my own movies can barely be considered live-action anyway. Much of my experience is with CGI and I hear that’s all the rage in anime these days.” Bay revealed that he himself was a long time Gundam fan, citing SEED and 00 as his personal favorite installments. “SEED had some incredible explosions, really top notch stuff. And don’t get me started on 00’s subtle political commentary.”
Project lead Tatsuyuki Nagai said he anticipated backlash but didn’t see what the big deal was. “It’s not as if we have a reputation to protect. We haven’t produced a decent Gundam show in years and if you’re going to make a sprawling toy commercial you might as well bring in a professional. I mean, did you even watch Reconguista?”
As of press time there is no news of how Japanese fans will react to news of an American working on a Gundam project, though riot police have already been deployed to downtown Akihibara.