It has taken more than two years, but it looks like a plan announced in 2010 by Toei Animation to develop a live-action film based on the classic piloted-robot anime Gaiking is finally taking shape. According to Deadline, Gale Ann Hurd, CEO of Vahalla Entertainment (The Walking Dead), who has produced numerous Marvel Comics-based movies, will lead the charge to develop and market what she calls "one of the best Japanese intellectual properties for a global audience." Vahalla will partner with Toei and the public/private All Nippon Entertainment Works to develop the story of a young man who pilots a super-robot and helps defeat an alien invasion.
Demon Dragon of the Heavens Gaiking (Daiku Maryu Gaiking) was a 44-episode Super Robot mecha anime series that was produced by Toei and originally aired in Japan in 1976 and 1977. The Gaiking robot was part of Mattel’s popular Shogun Warriors import toy line in the late 1970s. The Gaiking anime received limited airing in the U.S. as one fifth of Jim Terry’s Force Five syndicated anime anthology that was shown in a few states (Virginia and New England primarily) during the early 1980s. Along with Captain Harlock, Gaiking was one of two properties that Toei announced for the global market at the Tokyo Animation Fair in 2010 (see "Toei Planning 3D CG Features"). The computer-animated or hybrid films originally envisioned have morphed into live-action films, but the concept of attempting to develop a global summer movie blockbuster out of these classic anime properties remains.