Where were you when Challenger blew up? When the towers fell? When Bieber kissed Selena? Just as with these defining moments, millions of nerds experienced a moment yesterday that they will never forget, a galvanizing, life-changing moment. There is before and after, and only those two states.
For days, weeks and years, fans had anxiously scanned twitter, tumblr, LiveJournal and even Deadline for clues to their savior. And at last a name was put forth.
Yes it is true. Nic Mathieu is going to direct the new Robotech movie.
The search for a director for the giant robot saga had taken producer Akiva Goldman on a globe-spanning hunt. From the bitter steppes of Mongolia, chewing fragrant bowls of yak stew, to the swirling dawn-lit clubs of Barcelona to the dusty soundstages of Vancouver. There could be no mistakes…the consequences were too grave. But at last, The One emerged.
The search has to be diligent because of the importance of Robotech to legions of fans. Originally a Japanese anime, the story of a race of huge mechas who save earth from successive waves of alien invasions was one of the first Japanese franchises to catch on in the US, with daily cartoon airings through the 80s. The saga has taken on a sacred place to fans, and the director of the reboot carries the hopes and dreams of a generation with him to bring the tale to the modern era.
The announcement was met with relief and tears from fans. “I had hoped this day would come, but I was afraid I wouldn’t live to see it,” said Eustace “Yip” Harbiggens of Muncie, IL.
“Our salvation from Transformers is at hand,” cried Cheryl Sullivan of Reseda, CA.
“Hunh. When is it opening again?” asked Tad Nakamura of Boca Raton, FL.
Despite the rejoicing, there was anxiety as well. Mathieu is a little-known figure who has only directed commercials thus far, although he’s attached to two upcoming SF projects. Not much is known of his background or feelings about lens flares. Some fans are privately expressing worries that the robot fights won’t be loud or crashy enough.
“I hope he plans to use CGI,” said Sullivan. “That’s pretty big in films now and I think you have to use it to be taken seriously in the action movie arena.”
“Is he committed to diversity?” fretted Harbiggens. “There should be many different kinds of robots, large, small, blue, red.”
News of Matthieu’s attachment to the Robotech reboot overshadowed reports that J.J. Abrams will direct Star Wars VII, although there was a smattering of talk on twitter about it.
“Let’s face it, we have Star Wars up the wazoo these days,” said Harbiggens. “They could get those Angry Birds people to make the next Star Wars movie and it wouldn’t matter.
“But…there is only one Robotech.”
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.