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Robotech to the Big Screen!

The robotech universe is having a big scoop recently.

Toby McGuire has signed on to the Live action Robotech movie.

There is a bunch of copyright junk going on, who know's what's happening to it.



  • Now THAT is interesting...I've always been more a fan of Battletech than Robotech, but I'll take any decent giant mech action I can get!
  • BigglesBiggles <font color=#AAFFAA>The Man Without a Face</font>
    I have nothing (good) to say.
  • MatthewMatthew Earthforce Officer
    How weird I was thinking the other week that Robotech would make a good subject matter for a movie. Then after realising how much Hollywood could screw it up by not respecting the existing background material I think not.
  • After carefully weighing and evaluating the shock, surprise, excitement, and cynicism I've felt upon hearing this news, I am finally prepared to level [url=]this[/url] as my response.
  • Random ChaosRandom Chaos Actually Carefully-selected Order in disguise
    I agree, Battletech has always been better. But that might be because Stackpole wrote most of the good novels detailing an intricate political regime. Unfortunately he won't be returning to the universe...they won't pay him enough to write now that he is a well established author.
  • Oh boy. Movies are so great for telling stories, especially Hollywood. Whoopty do. At least from what I understand, that Neon Genesis Evangelion live action movie went nowhere.
  • What is with people these days...ugg. If I jugded every movie based on the IM it was based on, every damn thing would suck, and I wouldn't watch a single thing. Oh the Blue Thunder was great, but the series sucked! Knight Rider the series rocked, but Knight Rider 2000 sucked. Transformers G1 was the best, the Movie tramatized kids. Mortal Kombat was nothing like the Game! Doom had nothing to do with the game, but still had the name Doom, so it sucked. My god people. Take the movie as for it's own, not to compare it to anything else. There is a few things that are true about life and not worth bitching about: 1) The book is always better than the Movie. 2) The series is better than the movie. 3) The cartoon is better than the movie. 4) Everything is better than the movie. 5) No movie maker gives a flying frack about the base material! I'm the most manic/bipolar depressive guy here, and I'm being optimistic... this world is fracked up.
    --Rant mode active--
    To me a movie that DOES suck... Watch Final Approach.... If you want a sucky movie, watch that filthy peice of crap. Or better yet, the Fountain... that really, really sucked. Oh yea the graphics were great... but the plot sucked as bad as Dr. Jeckle and Mr. Hyde on the NES. Or Even better... anything Barney... you want pure horrible crap to bitch about... bitch about that big huge purple peice of crap. And have a side of Teletubbies while your at it. Or better yet become an American like me, and enjoy the freedom of the government rapeing you every corner, and having to pay to live on your own land, where it's cheaper to live in a hotel than your own house or apartment, where your forced to get a credit card to be put into debt just so others can make tons of money off your frelling ass, where it costs you over 100 bucks for a police man to give you a ticket but doesn't turn the damned thing in till about the time they will take you to court for it. If you want a movie with a great plot, watch a fracking chick flick. Remakes never have a good plot to them, never. It's like trying to say that the new and healther 7up is better... it's a fricken carbonated soda with fruit flavor that sucks, I want my fracking origninal sugar laden 7up!
    --Rant Mode deactive--
    Look at for movies for what they really are. Tranformers.. big tranforming robots beating the living shit out of each other. Aeon Flux... a hot assasian that kicks ass. Robotech... Big jets that tranform into robots to kick alien ass. It's simple as that...
  • Yeah, except they almost always suck in their own right as well.
  • I give up... perm lurk engaged.
  • The problem with these brain dead "adaptations" is that now if I mention I, Robot to anyone, they're going to think of that godawful movie with Will Smith.
  • Random ChaosRandom Chaos Actually Carefully-selected Order in disguise
    While I, Robot movie was not up to the level of Asimov's books, they managed to get an amazing amount of Asimov's short stories on robots into the movie (read, at least 1), which is far better than I expected. And it's still a fun movie in it's own right.

    If you base all these "adaptations" on the original you'll never like a movie. Movies have to be treated in their own right. While there are a lot of so-so movies, there are also a lot of very well done movies, especially if you ignore the works of fiction upon which they were based.

    Take a look at almost any movie based on a book. Not one will match. But there are plenty of excellent movies out there. There are also plenty of flubs.
  • croxiscroxis I am the walrus
    Part of the problem is that a movie is about the length of short story. Many elements in a book (plot, character development) take place over a great deal of material. Any movie is an adaptation, at best, of the origional book.

    The other is that Hollywood sucks.
  • Yeah, I know. I've been thinking recently how movies just aren't a good medium to tell a story, but then I watch the Korean movie Old Boy and see just what movies can really do. And of course there are other examples of movies that do use the medium right. I guess it's just that Hollywood sucks and has no idea how to properly structure a story in movie form.
  • The first Harry Potter movie was just, well really better then the book. The 2ed just as good. Down hill from there.

    The 4th movie I wished bad things on people.
  • Random ChaosRandom Chaos Actually Carefully-selected Order in disguise
    Yet if you look at (mostly) good adaptations, Lord of the Rings is definately way up there. While I dislike that they changed some plot lines to remove some elements of the story, such as: the Dunadain not being those that help at Helm's Deep; Glorfindel not being the one to ride with Frodo; the hobbit's swords not being found in the wight's tombs; the lack of the scouring of the Shire; and some others. It was still an excellent adaptation regardless. Part of that was most of the changes that were made were to remove extra characters that weren't integral to the story so as to move it along faster, or to provide a better demographic (more women) than the original story.

    Anyway, what really makes the movie based on a novel good is:
    1. Good adaptation: the parts that are dropped or altered make sense from a screenwriting point of view, not just because an ax was taken to shorten the movie.
    2. Good screenwriter: the quality of the writing
    3. Attention to detail: if you make someone do something that the author never would have, you lose the audience from the book

    Of course there is the 2nd way of making a good movie based on a novel - ignore the book:
    1. Take a premise in a book, but realize there is no way to make it work the way the author intended
    2. Using elements of the novel and the general plot idea, create a new story with new characters

    You still rely on having a good screenwriter, but the other two are less relevant. An example of this is the Sum of All Fears which the people were moved around to different roles within the movie so as to make it work differently. A good movie, though significantly different than the novel.

    The second way is harder, yet more often taken. One has to be clear that they aren't trying to rewrite the book, but instead trying to distill the idea from the book into a new medium with a new set of characters and a new organization of the plot. If they try and pass it off as the original book, it will flub, because it isn't the original book. The problem is most movies that are based on books use the 2nd method, but ignore the need to make sure the audience knows it isn't supposed to be the book. Either they try too hard to follow the book without any evidence they read the book, or they give up on any consistency yet advertise it as "The novel XYZ in a movie!" The key is that, if you do use the premise of a novel but change the content, then it might be "based on a novel" but it is not "the novel," and the movie must make that clear before people even plan to see it.

  • I actually kinda liked the [b]I, Robot[/b] movie.
    Nope, it's nothing like any of the short stories that were collected in the book, and Susan Calvin in the movie is nothing like the original, and really, it shouldn't even have been named "I, Robot."

    However, the plot incorporates many of the same [i]themes[/i] that Asimov used in his whole Robot Series works, e.g. the Zeroth Law (taken from the Daneel Olivaw novels). I think the movie is at least a reflection of the "spirit" of Asimov's robot stories, it's also a good action/VFX movie.

    Not great, but OK.

    Or maybe it's just that it wasn't as bad as I feared? Fact is, I blame Continental on my liking it, I actually didn't even plan to rent it but they showed it on a flight, and I tought it was OK... then the fligh ended right before the end. So I rented it and I confirmed my first impression: it was OK.

    Regarding the [b]Harry Potter movies[/b]: Good, IMO. I have not read the books (yeah, I know, that makes me an oddity) so I only know them as movies, and from that PoV they're good. And the first one was excellent!
    I do have the first five books at home: the width of Order of the Phoenix, even without reading it has me convinced that it should be impossible to show all of it on a movie.
    I can see that the plot is heavily condensed even if I haven't read the books, maybe they should have made two movies from one book, but I don't think that can happen.

    [b]And back to the original topic:[/b]

    I have mixed feelings, I just don't see how they can fit the Robotech epic in a movie. Not even half of the Macross saga could fit in a movie. I'm not sure if a side story in the Robotech universe could be a good movie. I'm affraid they'll attempt a senseless "reboot" or "reimagining." However, all we know for now is that, maybe, a movie will be developed.

    I'm in a "wait and see" mode about this.

    And the "see" for the "wait" shall be the Protoculture Collection of DVDs I recently acquired. :D

    In fact I really need to watch it, I haven't actually seen Robotech since its original airing in Mexico!!
    Also... the Mexican broadcast screwed with episode order on the final part ("New Generation"), even if the first two parts were showed in perfect order, and I missed the ending (if it was showed at all) so I still don't know how it actually ended.

    The fact that I still remember it fondly and was willing to spend on the DVDs shows how much I liked it.

    I can only hope that if the movie is actually developed it is respectful of the original material and an engaging story.

    But it's Hollywood... I kinda doubt that will happen.
  • Random ChaosRandom Chaos Actually Carefully-selected Order in disguise
    [B]I, Robot[/B] [B]movie:[/B] Actually, it did take one of the short stories. I think it's "Little Lost Robot" that you should reread. It's the same idea as the robots in the warehouse in the movie. They just shortened the whole thing to be part of a larger movie, rather than a stand-alone story.

    [B]Harry Potter movies:[/B] Well done overall. The biggest issue is they cut so much of the story. Both 4 and 5 really should have been 3+ hour movies to even scratch the surface. As it was they cut so much of the story they basically lost the best parts of the books. Actually, 4 and 5 should have been 2-part movies. Book 3 by itself is as many pages as the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and just as densely packed with events. And LOTR was turned into three 3.5- to 4-hour movies (with special edition stuff added).
  • Yes, it did have the Little Lost Robot (can't remember the exact name either and I don't care enough to look it up) thing in it, but rather than using their brains to figure out which robot it was, Will Smith just pulls out his gun and starts shooting dem up. Susan Calvin was nothing at all like the actual character except that she was a robopsychologist. The movie was a horrible insult to the book. Harlan Ellison's screenplay, while I won't say is perfect, would have been much better than that abomination.
    And wasn't the Zeroth Law from the horrid later Foundation books Asimov wrote? Why the hell did he write those horribly boring books that pointlessly combine the Robot books with the Foundation books? Foundation TRILOGY as far as I'm concerned. I'd rather just forget those later books ever existed. Not that I've got a problem with the Zeroth Law, since it's obviously there and mentioned but not called the same thing in the final story in I, Robot.
    I will admit that there are some good adaptations out there, but for the most part, they suck balls.
  • I just don't get why everyone seems to think that everything needs a movie adaptation. Anyone ever read City of Glass? There is absolutely no way a book like that could work in movie form, but the graphic novel adaptation was excellent. I also don't have much interest in ever seeing an adaptation of Neil Gaiman's Sandman or really anything else. Maybe I'm just jaded by all the horrible adaptations that have been made, but I just don't get excited about hearing about movie adaptations and the first thing I think whenever I hear about any movie adaptation is how horribly they're going to butcher yet another work.
  • Random ChaosRandom Chaos Actually Carefully-selected Order in disguise
    I believe the zeroth law was from the Robot series (Caves of Steel, et al), but I'm not positive. Been a horribly long time since I read them.

    As I understand it, Asimov's entire Robot and Foundation series were inextricably linked. The robot from the Robot series was still alive in the first foundation book.
  • Oh. I only read I, Robot, not others in the series, so I wouldn't know. After reading Foundation's Edge, Foundation and Earth, and Prelude to Foundation, I lost all interest in reading more from Asimov. I still don't really know why I read Prelude to Foundation after the mind-numbingly boring Foundation and Earth. What the hell was Asimov thinking when he wrote that?
  • R.C.
    I still remember somewhat that short story you mention (now that you mention it)-

    You're right, it was mishandled in the movie.

    AFAIK The Zeroth Law was first proposed in [b]Robots and Empire[/b], a sequel several years after [b]Robots of Dawn[/b] the sequel to [b]Caves of Steel[/b].

    Making Daneel Olivaw the force behind the Empire and behind the Foundation, and behind the absence of alien life (humans conquer the whole Galaxy without finding any sentient life) in Asimov's Empire and Foundation, as a way to tie the Robots stories with the Foundation series was Asimov's single worst choice ever, IMO.

    Those were separate series originally. The "first" book in the Foundation series (Prelude) was actually a prequel, written decades after the original three, so was the "second" book. IIRC the prequels were actually written after the sequels (which then would have been the first reveal that Daneel Olivaw and his robots had been manipulating history to ensure human survival).

    I really don't understand why Asimov felt he had to force Robots and Foundation (and some scattered novels that were lumped as part of the Empire chronology) into a single universe.

    The original Foundation trilogy was very good. The only prequel I liked was "Forward the Foundation", the sequels were bad.

    However, the "second foundation trilogy" by Bear, Brin and Benford wasn't that bad. Those three prequel books (based on Asimov notes and approved by his estate) were good for tying up some loose ends in that (misguided) attempt to make the Robots and Foundation series a single story.

    In any event, the original, untied, Robots stories and novels, and the original, untied, Foundation trilogy, were the best.
  • Yeah, the Foundation Trilogy was cool. Then he had to write those stupid sequals and prequals decades after he wrote Second Foundation. And like I said before, I only read I, Robot from the Robot books, and after reading those stupid Foundation Series books, don't have much interest in reading more from him. Except maybe his older work from the I, Robot and Foundation Trilogy years.
    Hey! Foundation and Earth! There's a movie adaptation that couldn't possibly be worse than the original!
  • BigglesBiggles <font color=#AAFFAA>The Man Without a Face</font>
    Actually, the Foundation novels and the Earthman Bailey novels are subtly linked very well with the stuff about psychohistory and the failure of the spacer method of civilisation. The stuff with R. Daneel Olivaw, on the other hand, is a bit blatant, but I find it interesting, entertaining, and well done, none the less.

    As for Robotech: I find it somewhat ironic that there are lots of complaints flying around about how it won't be respectful to the original source material, tell the story well, etc, given that Robotech was made by being almost entirely disrespectful to the story of the three completely separate series it used as its own source material.
  • [url=]You dare to criticize Robotech?[/url]
  • BigglesBiggles <font color=#AAFFAA>The Man Without a Face</font>
  • [quote=Biggles]As for Robotech: I find it somewhat ironic that there are lots of complaints flying around about how it won't be respectful to the original source material, tell the story well, etc, given that Robotech was made by being almost entirely disrespectful to the story of the three completely separate series it used as its own source material.[/quote]So... is that your only complaint about Robotech?

    I'm well aware that Macek and his writers completely ignored the three separate original plots and dialogue, and re-edited the animation to remove "ethnic gestures" (Macek's own words, I have an idea, but not certainty as to what he meant) and part of the content.

    Actually Macek states in the commentary track to one of the extras in the DVDs (Codename: Robotech, a TV "movie" to introduce Robotech, made by splicing events from the first few episodes of Macross) that he actually watched the three series without dialogue so he could come up with an idea to link everything without being "tainted" by the original plots.

    To me that is a "sin" I can forgive given how the final product came out. To me Robotech was great, because it was the first example of actual SF in TV, not children's sci-fi, a continuing story where people even died (and did not return miraculously), where actions had consequences.
    I would guess that much of that came from the original Macross (and Southern Cross and Mospeada) stories, but still, Robotech was the first animation to showed that to many of us in the western world.

    In fact, I would say that memories of Robotech being a sort of novel for TV is one reason I got interested in watching B5 regularly, after I knew it was supposed to be an SF novel for TV (my first interest was because I had dabbled in computer animation with Amigas, that's a different story).

    [quote=Biggles]Actually, the Foundation novels and the Earthman Bailey novels are subtly linked very well with the stuff about psychohistory and the failure of the spacer method of civilisation. The stuff with R. Daneel Olivaw, on the other hand, is a bit blatant, but I find it interesting, entertaining, and well done, none the less.[/quote] But... the psychohistory stuff was only introduced to the Robot novels in "Robots and Empire", which was written decades after the Bailey novels (and happened decades after Bailey's death in the chronology).
    I woul have to re-read the original two Bailey novels to see if there were any hints of psychohistory there, but IIRC the subtle links were later additions.
  • Hey, let me guess, that Daneel Oli guy turns out to be the robot that was in the moon at the end of Foundation and Earth, the same guy who also appeared in Prelude to Foundation and helped lead Seldon to psychohistory.
  • BigglesBiggles <font color=#AAFFAA>The Man Without a Face</font>
    [QUOTE=Capt.Montoya;165582]So... is that your only complaint about Robotech?[/quote]

    No, but the others are personal opinion and completely irrelevant to the matter at hand. :)

    [quote]But... the psychohistory stuff was only introduced to the Robot novels in "Robots and Empire", which was written decades after the Bailey novels (and happened decades after Bailey's death in the chronology).
    I woul have to re-read the original two Bailey novels to see if there were any hints of psychohistory there, but IIRC the subtle links were later additions.[/QUOTE]

    It was introduced (subtly) in [i]The Robots of Dawn[/i], which is the third Earthman Baley novel (although it was published 17 years after [i]The Naked Sun[/i]). Fastolfe was the originator of the idea, although Daneel manipulated him into actually doing something more with it than using it to torment his daughter.

    It was ultimately Asimov's choice to link the Robots and Foundation novels together, and I think he did it rather well. I particularly like the way [i]Robots and Empire[/i] describes how the Earthers were pushed to really get out of their hovels and into actually colonising the galaxy properly, even with the Spacers still around to frighten them, and how that links in with [i]Foundation and Earth[/i]. These books may not be the best of the series, but they are highly entertaining none the less.
  • MelkorMelkor Elite Ranger
    I seem to recall a large quantity of people saying "this is goinna suck!" about the Transformers movie too, long before they ever started filming it. But just about everyone I've talked to had nothing but good things to say about it. Same thing with alot of the cartoon/comic adaptations as of late. While they may not be 100% accurate for the original source material, this is often due to said material being... just a little outdated. When it's a fantasy setting, such as Lord of the Rings, you can get away with being very true to it, because there's nothing to compare it to. But when you're trying to make a movie where the events are supposed to be happening "now", or in the very "near future", well, then it starts to get a little more difficult and sometimes things need to be changed, especially when the source material is about 20 years old....

    I say let's just step back, see if it even develops to the point they start shooting it, watch it when it comes out, then bitch about the things they got wrong. Anything else before that is speculation. Fact of the matter is that none of us are privy to the script, the CG that's undoubtedly going to be in the movie hasn't even been rendered yet, and so on.
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