As “geek news” sites that either play ball with the studios better or are run by “the biz” itself take greater prominence on the web, the old warhorse AICN is more and more regarded as more an opinion/editorial site than a “news” source. Nothing wrong with that, march of history, etc. But once in awhile they pull one out, which may have happened once again.

Harry Knowles – to be fair, the patron-saint of “reporting stuff I WANT to happen as actually on it’s way to happening” – has a report up claiming that producer Jules Urbach is well on his way to a live-action “Shogun Warriors” movie.

“Shogun Warriors” is a bit before my time, but the basic history is pretty fascinating: Much as happened with Transformers, an American toy distributor bought the rights to a slew of largely-unrelated Japanese giant-robot characters and released them as the “Shogun Warriors.” A tie-in Marvel comic tied them together storywise, and the various heroes would become familiar to subsequent generations as their various anime series became syndicated worldwide like Mazinger (“Tranzor Z”) or the “Force Five” anthology series.

According to AICN, Urbach is gunning for a live-action franchise after initially scoring the rights for a short-subject in David Fincher’s long-gestating “Heavy Metal” movie. The plan involves starting with “Gaiking,” a giant horn-headed mecha who rides around in a spaceship that turns into a dinosaur who’s head he wears as a chestplate. Great idea… but we’ll see what comes of it. For now, AICN has Urbach’s FX-test clip of Gaiking himself which looks… pretty damn incredible, actually. Not to be a broken record, but why can’t the Transformers look this good, again?

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