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James Cameron at work developing MAZINGER Z feature film'

Ya know folks, Harry here, and sometimes I am surprised and delighted with something fairly mundane sounding at first. I received this scoop from Skywalker, who had found it at Dark Horizons on Thursday of this past week... and in amongst it, Kathryn Bigelow was asked a few questions by a Spanish Magazine. Now we all know that Bigelow and Cameron go way back... They made STRANGE DAYS and well, it's a long story. BUT... There was this MAZINGER Z thing... Here's what Skywalker sent me...

I'm in the San Sebastian Film Festival in Spain, and yesterday we saw THE WEIGHT OF WATER the new Kathryn Bigelow Film, good film but not what I expected. Well, today in a private interview to our magazine we asked her about James Cameron - she told us that he has an advanced project in the works - a film remake of the Japanese manga series "Mazinger Z". 20th Century fox has talked with Bigelow too, and she said she is not interested.


Well... That didn't really ring any bells for my American brain... but it got me thinking... Ya see, the name was vaguely familiar... as if something from my childhood... Something forgotten...

I did a quick bout of Internet research and realized... rather quickly that MAZINGER Z was my SHOGUN WARRIORS!!! OH DEAR GOD... SHOGUN WARRIORS!!!

That's right folks... Those toys from the Japanese Anime tv series that came to the U.S. when... gosh... I must've been 7 or 8. It ran in Japan from 1972 to 1974, and has been a part of their culture ever since... Toys, Manga... legos, video games... all sorts of things.

Well... I've been hearing for quite some time that Cameron has been over in Japan buying up various ANIME properties... I know that he has BATTLE ANGEL in development with Guillermo Del Toro... and now he has MAZINGER Z in development at FOX... apparently at a far enough stage that not only is he attempting to attach a director... but so is the studio. So... Let's all keep our ears to the ground... SHOGUN WARRIORS on the big live action screen would rule the EARTH!!!

Here's a bit about the story as it was told in all 92 episodes... (Taken from ImDb.CoM)

Dr. Hell and Dr. Kabuto are two archaeologists who found the remains of an ancient civilization capable of making giant robots. When Dr. Juzo Kabuto found out Dr. Hell's plans of creating the robots to conquer the Earth, he became his enemy and started the construction of Mazinger Z, a fantastic giant robot, as a defense weapon. The story starts when Dr. Hell sends his first assistant, Baron Ashura, to kill Dr. Kabuto. The attempt is successful, but not completely: Just before his death, he is found by his grandson, Kouji Kabuto, and informs him about the recently finished robot hidden on the underground basement. From this moment on, and with the help of Dr. Gennosuke Yumi -Dr. Kabuto's ex-assistant-, the inexpert Kouji manages to learn how to pilot powerful Mazinger. Dr. Yumi also made a robot of his own, called Aphrodite A, and piloted by his daughter Sayaka, which was primarily conceived as a peace time robot. Both Mazinger and Aphrodite together, episode after episode, combat and destroy every mechanical monster created by Dr. Hell and his associates, Baron Ashura and the Iron Mask, until the last episode of the first season, where Mazinger is finally destroyed, and Kouji is supposed to die. In a second season of the series, a new character appears: Dr. Kabuto Jr., father of Kouji, who wasn't dead, but constructing an even more powerful robot: Great Mazinger... Anime series composed of 92 episodes.

Summary written by Miguel Ángel Díaz González

Readers Talkback
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  • Oct. 8, 2000, 1:58 a.m. CST

    Just a tad worried.

    by nolanliang

    Hate to sound like an overprotective anime fan, but I just don't know if a live action version of Mazinger can make it.

  • Oct. 8, 2000, 2:02 a.m. CST

    For the record, Dark Angel SUCKED!!!

    by GravyAkira

    Now dont get me wrong, it wasnt terrible. It just did not live up to the hype. And dont give me any crap on how it is just the first episode. Buffy had a great first episode and had about 9million less in budget.

  • Oct. 8, 2000, 2:07 a.m. CST

    Brings back memories.

    by Spacesheik

    I remember watching 'Mazinger Z' in Madrid, Spain, during the early to mid 1970s during Saturday afternoons. What a great show! Used to watch the shows to see what new 'robotic villain'would pop up and cause havoc in Tokyo. Good stuff.

  • Oct. 8, 2000, 2:20 a.m. CST

    Wasn't this known as Tranzor Z? Yes. Yes it was.

    by Czyz

    I watched this show every goddammed day as a kid. I still don't know how Aphrodite A's boob missles made it past network censors, I doubt they even watched any episodes. The coolest music played when T-Z rose up out of the swimming pool, too. That's about all I remember about the show, A's boob missles and cool music, but damn if that wasn't my favorite show when I was a youngin'.

  • Oct. 8, 2000, 3:07 a.m. CST

    Battle of the Planets

    by Mother Plucker

    When I was a little punk kid I could only watch Battle of the Planets (Is that the right title?)when I went to LA to visit my Uncle Bruce but I'll be darned if those arn't some of my favorite childhood memories as well as my first experience with Anime. Seeing ol Tranzor Z or whatver his name is makes me feel as happy and giddy as I felt when I bought the G.I.Joe Hovercraft. For ten points do you remember the name of the Hovercraft?

  • Granted, they don't have boob missles but Robotech's righteously cool transforming jet fighters were merely a backdrop for what was actually fairly complex character drama. No, seriously...

  • Oct. 8, 2000, 3:43 a.m. CST

    oh my god.

    by toenut

    Tranzor Z was hands down my favorite cartoon when I was a kid. I practically wet myself when I saw this story. Oh how I miss the days of watching the razor punch and all that other good stuff. Hopefully this movie will get done and all will be good.

  • Oct. 8, 2000, 4:27 a.m. CST

    The G.I. Joe hovercraft was called the Killer Whale...

    by Andy Travis

    ...and it came with the Cutter action figure. The hovercraft and the AT-AT were my pride and joy as a kid. Sigh...motherplucker, does that ten points help to restore my dignity...I think I just lost most of it...

  • Oct. 8, 2000, 5:06 a.m. CST

    Bow down before Robert A. Heinlein.

    by human2

    You guys know that all this robot battle-armor shit is taken directly from Robert Heinlein's Starship Troopers (1959), right? Cameron already did his homage to Starship Troopers in Aliens, with the references to 'bug hunts' and the power-lifter. Starship Troopers should have been a James Cameron movie. Instead, Verhoeven gets his filthy hands on the property and prompty discard everything that made the book interesting. Verhoeven loves to think that he's so fucking clever with his Nazi Fetish. Wow, Paul, you're making fun of jingoistic American nationalism! You're a great artist! If Cameron does some sort of live action battle-armor movie, I'd certainly like to see it. In conclusion, if Verhoeven and Cameron fought in a fenced cage like that in the first Wolverine scene in 'X-Men,' who do you suppose would win? I think Cameron would. Verhoeven's getting all chubby, sitting on his fat ass day after day, watching re-run after re-run of Indiana Jones on TBS and cursing the Nazis that invaded his homeland during WWII.

  • Oct. 8, 2000, 6:47 a.m. CST

    Mazinger good, Gundam great

    by EdStraker

    This is some sweet news and I'd love to see Mazinger on the big screen (didn't Go "Devilman" Nagai create Mazinger?). I mean this has a lot of promise. But if there was one film based on anime I would love to see made it would have to be Gundam. I throughly agree with the previous post. Mobile Suit Gundam deserves someone like Cameron to make a truly epic series of films. Hell it's Cameron's time to do another series of epic films. Gundam's just waiting and its creator Yoshiyuki Tomino said on one of the Bandai related websites that he wants to take Gundam into the live action realm. Hopefully Gundam or for that matter Mazinger won't be projects that never make it past the idea stage.

  • Oct. 8, 2000, 8:13 a.m. CST

    Sorry to burst your bubble of ignorance, Human2

    by Phreeform

    But the so-called "Nazi fetish" you think Veerhoven added to Starship Troopers was, in fact, built right in to the original novel. Go read it, if you don't believe. The novel exquisitely detailed how bright, charming, and very DIFFERENT youngsters could be molded into identical amoral killing machines, and about a society's willingness to sacrifice everything in a fruitless war. And the movie didn't catch that perfectly, but pretty well. If your boy, the King of the World (TM) had made Starship Troopers? Forget it, dude. Subtlety is DEFINATELY NOT Cameron's strong point. Go remake 70's anime, Jimmy. (Christ, and they accuse Tarantino of being derivative?)

  • Oct. 8, 2000, 8:58 a.m. CST

    All this is very well and good, but why not go straight to the s

    by Herbert Kornfeld

    In fact, let's revive the entire Nintendo Power Hour Cartoon lineup! Featuring Capt. Lou Albano as Mario! That show rocked and you all know it!

  • Oct. 8, 2000, 8:59 a.m. CST

    Robert Smith, use ROBOT PUNCH!!!

    by Wesley Snipes

    Check out those weapon names in the poster - Brain Condor!! Bwahahahaa!!

  • Oct. 8, 2000, 9:07 a.m. CST

    And another thing...

    by Herbert Kornfeld

    What kind of idiot would make friends with a guy called "Dr. Hell"? This is obviously some kind of major moron we're dealing with... "Let's see, I can include one of the following people on my trip to investigate the super-robots. The first one is called Dr. Altrusitic Sweetness And Purity, the second is named Dr. Hell... Gee, I wonder which one is more likely to betray me and steal an invincible dustructo-bot!"

  • Oct. 8, 2000, 9:46 a.m. CST

    Live action and latter day anime revival projects.

    by palaeomerus

    From what I here there is a new installment of Robotech on the way although how they can do this when Macross moved on to new territory I'm not sure. Perhaps it will get it's own original mecha designs. But Harmony Gold licensed the stuff out to some compnay or other last I heard. For those of you wanting a live action Gundam check out G-Savior which is pretty much a live action/CGI Gundam set in the UC timeline...I think. There is a already a PS2 game for the import buying early adopters out there. BTW isn't America making a Mazinger film kind of like Japan making A Superman film?

  • Oct. 8, 2000, 9:55 a.m. CST


    by Unferth

    With all this talk about making live-action films out of anime properies, I just have to ask: Whatever happened to James "I'm not going to make 'Spider-man' because I'd rather focus on my own characters at this stage of my career" Cameron?

  • Oct. 8, 2000, 10:24 a.m. CST

    Robotech revival

    by palaeomerus

    Here's abit of info about Robotech 3000. It looks like one of those CGI cartoons a lah beastwars. Here's a bit on G-Savior too but it's in Japanese.

  • Oct. 8, 2000, 10:26 a.m. CST

    G-saviour link in Japanese

    by palaeomerus

  • Oct. 8, 2000, 10:27 a.m. CST

    G-saviour link in Japanese

    by palaeomerus

  • Oct. 8, 2000, 10:38 a.m. CST

    fuck that shit

    by satan_claws

    if someone has to make a movie about giant robots, make a transformers live action movie.

  • Oct. 8, 2000, 12:32 p.m. CST

    This is awesome

    by Giancarlo

    This was one of my favorite shows when I was seven. I used to watch this show in spanish everyday after school. The toys were cool as hell. Mazinger's fist came off like rockets. But I didn't like the female robot toy because in the cartoon rockets came out of her chest and when she came out as a toy they didn't make her like the cartoon. Well this is great I just hope Tim Burton makes astroboy, that would be even better.

  • Oct. 8, 2000, 1:25 p.m. CST

    Starship Troopers

    by afterhours

    Either that guy hates jews or is mad at Verhoeven for hating nazis because he obviously didn't get Starship Troopers which is funny. If he didn't get Starship Troopers he must not get a hell of alot else.

  • Oct. 8, 2000, 1:36 p.m. CST

    Make a film Cameron! Anything, so long as it's good!

    by Kyle.Reese

    I'm a huge Cameron fan. I love his writing, his direction and style. He's my idle in the film universe. But what the Hell is he doing?! It's been almost three years since his last film! He still hasn't made up his mind! First Terminator 3 (which he spoke about in that T2: BATTLE ACROSS TIME documentary), then it was Spiderman, then True Lies 2, now a movie about the Power Rangers' Megazord. Do something with yourself Jimmy! I personally don't care if you do this Japanese comic adaption (or whatever it is), just so long as you put the drive into it as you did with TITANIC. I have this worry now that because of his TITANIC success he thinks he can pull out any rubbish and have it appreciated. Stop getting so lazy, or I'll have to make a movie and get you jealous enough to get you off your arse and direct something.

  • Oct. 8, 2000, 1:50 p.m. CST

    What's this about Battle Angel in development?

    by The_Ronin

    Where can I find out more about that? I love Gally and her story! Tell me more!

  • Oct. 8, 2000, 2:27 p.m. CST

    Andy Travis

    by Mother Plucker

    It's all good man. I'm nearly 30 years old and I have Hawkman, Hawkwoman, Gimli, Golum, Pumpkinhead, Flattworlds Dracula, and a Crocodile head from Florida sitting on my computer desk right now. If I had room I'd bust out my Hovercraft and At-At too. No wonder I havnt seen a woman in years.

  • Oct. 8, 2000, 3:07 p.m. CST

    List of Anime to put on the big screen....

    by SithScorp

    Here is my humble contribution... 1) Gatchaman (tricky, but possible); 2)Guyver (a real version please, not a pathetic B-movie, with a twist like Sho's mother being the true head of Kronos); 3)Bubblegum Crisis (with damn hotties!!! CGI the battle-armor); 4)Appleseed ('nuff said); 5)Baoh (gore galore, but too much like Guyver); 6) YAMATO ......... Perhaps not a "direct hit" list for most, but these would be interesting projects to me.... That is all. SithScorp out.

  • Oct. 8, 2000, 3:27 p.m. CST

    To Kyle Reese & ManOWar


    Reese: >>"What the Hell is he doing?! It's been almost three years since his last film! He still hasn't made up his mind! First Terminator 3 (which he spoke about in that T2: BATTLE ACROSS TIME documentary), then it was Spiderman, then True Lies 2, now a movie about the Power Rangers' Megazord."<< If you notice, Jim only makes a movie about every 2 or 3 years or so, anyway. (1984, 86, 89, 91, 94, 97.) Of course, he involves himself with other projects in the interim, like Alien Nation, Point Break, Strange Days, T2-3D, the ultra-cool Budweiser commercial back in '91, etc. For the past year or two, he's been working not only on Dark Angel, but two separate Mars projects; a mini-series and a 3D IMAX film. This is one of the reasons he turned the writing of True Lies 2 over to another person; not enough time. As Harry has reported, there are also deals being made between Lightstorm and Steven Soderbergh, and also something I recall being mentioned about the director of "Blade" working with Jim. Regarding Spiderman, BTW, Jim's involvement with that ended a long time ago, like shortly after Titanic came out. I mean, jeez, he wrote his treatment 9 years ago... he could only hold out so long. And his association with Terminator 3 is a long story, needless to say, but in the end, it's simply not a project that he really has any control over. So as much as the WHOLE DAMN WORLD knows that he's the best man for the job, (Andy F*ing Vajna... grumble grumble) the job just isn't his. >>"I have this worry now that because of his TITANIC success he thinks he can pull out any rubbish and have it appreciated."<< I certainly don't think any of Jim's future projects will fall short in quality any more than his past phenomenal movies have. Personally, I think making Dark Angel (regardless of how good or bad some think it is) was a brilliant move. Think about it: Nobody is going to compare Dark Angel to Titanic. We all just know they're not the same scale, or the same anything. If Jim had followed up Titanic with ANY movie project (even True Lies 2, for example,) people would only be waiting to trash the hell out of it, comparing it to his $2 billion, Oscar-winning landmark film. It's an attack he couldn't beat if he tried; the opposition simply would not be fighting fairly. So Dark Angel sort of displaces the pressure in that regard, and gives him a little more room to breathe before his next feature, whatever it may be. Basically, I think what I'm getting at is: Be patient, Reese. Jim ain't gonna let us down. He's got a lot going on, (more than most filmmakers, that's for sure... can you say "MIR Space Station??") but when these projects see the light of day, I'm positive jaws will drop. (And to MAnOWar... the worst line in the Abyss --IMHO-- wasn't "They must've done something to us," but McBride's "Looks like you boys might be out of business!" God, that's an eye-roller if ever there were. True, Hippy's line is pretty dumbed-down, but then... so was Hippy. And as far as Hamilton vs. Amis... I don't know, dude. I'd have to say the hottest Cameronette was always Gale Anne Hurd. Jim has a thing for skinny chicks and tuff girls... Gale looks like an actual woman!) LIGHTSTORMER OUT.

  • Oct. 8, 2000, 3:51 p.m. CST

    Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots: The Movie

    by Buzz Maverik

    Cameron's first ex-wife, the waitress whom Sarah Conner was based on and whose little dog barked at Arnie in the first movie (Gail Anne Hurd must have just LOVED having her around) said that this will be Big Jim's next film.

  • Oct. 8, 2000, 4:27 p.m. CST

    I can't believe Cameron is interested in this kiddie stuff

    by Norm3

    I had enought Ultraman 20 years ago!

  • Get it through your head that all the shit in the ST movie about not being able to have kids unless you're a citizen is hogwash that Verhoeven added. In the novel, Juan Rico is a Filipino kid. Zim wasn't a sadistic fuck. There's nothing in the Mobile Infantry that you don't find in the American military. The one change is that the right to vote is limited more than the United States limits it right now. Phreeform, please go fuck yourself, then continue sucking Verhoeven's dick and parroting his knee-jerk political crap.

  • Oct. 8, 2000, 6:38 p.m. CST

    Some thoughts

    by andreasingo

    I'm sure that with Cameron at the helm this will at least have some incredible action but personally (I'm a big James Cameron fan) I would love to see something more original. I was blowed away by the scriptment to Avatar. That piece of geneous could really uppe the ante of scifi-action movies.

  • Oct. 8, 2000, 7:10 p.m. CST

    How about some freaking Voltron already?

    by Stefka

    That's pretty much it.

  • Oct. 8, 2000, 8:44 p.m. CST

    Mazinger Z AND GOLDORAK

    by Goldorak

    Well anyone in France or Canada should be freaked out about this...after all Mazingar Z second sequel is UFO Robot Grendizer, also known as Golodrak to Francophones, which is probably when of the biggest cartoons to ever hit France (and pretty popular in Canada too). Hello Koji, the pilot in Mazingar Z is Alcore in Goldorak. Can you imagine Cameron directing a Goldorak film. Thst is pants shitting coolness. THose who have no idea what I am talking about,sorry... but there are bound to be a ton of people who know the show I am talking about that will sigh in the absolute coolness of this. And yes Tranzor Z in English also rocked. Go Nagai, FYI also created Devilmen, Great Mazingar, Goldorak and Ghetta Robot G, who in the US was sold as Shogan Warrior Dragun (red spikes on his head etc.). The final capstone for all the Go Nagai Robot series was in a movie where Dragun, Mazingar and Goldorak (as well both Aphrodites tit shooting and all) join forces. If there is a sequal, you can bet they will do the whole Shogun Warrior line.

  • Oct. 8, 2000, 9:11 p.m. CST

    Voltron was indeed the shit.

    by kojiro

    Hell yeah.

  • Oct. 9, 2000, 3:35 a.m. CST

    Understood Lightstormer

    by Kyle.Reese

    I guess you are right about Cameron's projects taking up much of his time. But it's still gonna take him a year or two to make whichever film he decides on. So it is a pain to have to wait this long for another of his films. And as for his TV endeavours, I'm not too bothered. Television has always been so restrictive and sloppy (with the exception of Stephen King's THE STAND). I can't understand it's appeal to Cameron compared to movies. But hey, what can you do.

  • Oct. 9, 2000, 3:39 a.m. CST

    Transformers - Live Action!!

    by dastickboy

    Wasn't Supermega Media producing this? And Heavy Gear too? Come on - the time is right for gigantic battle suit movies!!

  • Oct. 9, 2000, 4:45 a.m. CST

    VOLTRON! VOLTRON! Mazinger Z is WEAK!

    by WizyWyg

    Why the hell do a movie on a outdated robot when we have CLASSISCS like Voltron (Go-Lion and Dairugger) that had better weapons, cooler characters, and non-anatomically associated weapons?

  • Oct. 9, 2000, 4:48 a.m. CST


    by WizyWyg

    Yeah, America had their chance with mechs (which means I agree with you whole heartedly) it was Called.... Robot Jox

  • Oct. 9, 2000, 1:12 p.m. CST



    Yeah, you know what I'm talking about. It's 1985, and Philly 57 is the new UHF station in town in Pennsylvania. And to anchor their cartoon lineup, they import TRANZOR Z, YES TRANZOR Z to america. To this day I don't know how they were able to sneak a giant female robot who shot breast-shaped missles out of her chest through the american censors, or a weird bi-gender he-she villain(ness?) Can't image them doin that with Pokemon or Digimon!

  • Just thought I'd throw that out there. You all seem to think like studio heads here, where there can be only one robot/japanimation sci-fi movie. Come on! There's room for all projects. It can be done, people.

  • Oct. 9, 2000, 4:48 p.m. CST

    Keep it animated or on t.v.

    by superninja

    Transformers as live action would be laughable. You think they're going to make a serious film about machines that talk? No way! There will be some stupid human kid in there asking them all sorts of inane questions like, "Can you cry?" Beg for this to stay animated.

  • Oct. 9, 2000, 8:14 p.m. CST

    Live Action Vs. Animation

    by Wrangler

    I am a long time Anime fan. I grew up on mighty Force Five tv show, whiched showcased many of the Giant robots shows, Danguard Ace, Star Vengers, Grandizer, Space Dragon, along came Transzor Z, Voltron *lions and vehicles* However, in 90s, there been attempts to make giant robot movies, Robotwars, RoboJox, etc. Need i say more about pure cheese? I don't know if Cameron can pull this off. He hasn't been concertating on good projects lately. Planet of the Apes being a glowing example. Godzilla proved that its possible if its done by right people, that giant robots in movies is possible and believable, then again. What about story quality. The industry is on verge of a massive shutdown of writing talent and actors. I REALLY don't believe this project will come to light. Mercifuly, Disney didn't make their americized version of Starblazers. Stupid industry, has no imagination anymore :(

  • Oct. 9, 2000, 11:55 p.m. CST

    Wait a minute

    by ThereIsNoSpoon

    "From the creator of 'Dark Angel', coming soon, 'Battle Angel'! . . ."

  • Oct. 23, 2000, 2:50 p.m. CST

    Cameron's Mazinger-Z

    by charb

    Well, I guess it was bound to happen.... Everyone is making reissues.... Everyone is into nostalgia... Let me tell you what i think about this Mazinger-Z remake attempt... I hope people would leave things like they are. I am a true fan of japanese Super Robots. Especially Mazinger. I would hate if Mazinger became an artificial boom like Star Wars did some time ago when thay decided to remake. True fans don't need a reminder. True fans don't need ridiculous merchandising gimicks and mass commercialization. Suddenly everyone will be a Mazinger fan... Well, I don't think so.... Hope it will crash and burn before it does more damage. Long live Mazinger.... Long live the true fans... But if someone had to do it let it be James Cameron....

  • Sept. 2, 2001, 10:57 a.m. CST

    Mazinger is the ruler of all techs!!!!

    by Mazin Kaiser

    I been hearing some nasty shyt about Mazinger Being a bitch well let me tell u something guys Mazinger was the beggining of it all he was the greatest and still is (Voltron) come on plz he sucked compared to Mazinger the god of all techs so before u decide to talk trash check out who Mazinger is.U little kids have to realize that before pokemon and voltron there was Mazinger & shingetter and toher great animes so take it from a 17 year old that knows Mazinger ROCKS!

  • Oct. 11, 2007, 3:43 p.m. CST


    by mazingerZ1

    Would be awesome to see a new movie about the fantastic japanese anime, the only concern how close to the original anime the movie is going to be, and hopefully all the characters name remain true to their Japanese names. Also, Mazinger Z was translated to English and showed on American TV as Tranzor Z, which only had 26 episodes and all the character names were changed, who would imagine Kouji Kabuto would be named "Tommy" in the American version. The hispanic fan base run with better luck, all the series and Great Mazinger Z series were translated to Spanish and ran in Latin America from 1980-81 then again in 1997. I hope James Cameron doesn't get offended by the female robot and change the way she displayed her power, by shooting misiles from no other place but her.. Oops Boobs. Thanks for the Great Scoop Mike.

  • Dec. 2, 2010, 11:40 p.m. CST

    "Scoop" from DarkHorizon's last week

    by BlacksOnBlondes

    If it doesn't have anime tentacle rape then "no thanks"