After more than two years since it was officially announced as in production, Bandai Namco have finally revealed both the first trailer and theatrical release date for their long-awaited return to the Cosmic Era, Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Freedom.
And what a long wait it has been, as the film was first announced as in development all the way back in May of 2006.
Set to see the return of both SEED series director Mitsuo Fukuda and his late wife, series scriptwriter Chiaki Morosawa, the early days of the film’s production would see it plagued with delays.
While fans were initially unaware of the specific reasons for these scheduling issues, Morosoawa unfortunately confirmed that in a 2008 interview with Animage that these delays could be blamed on her falling ill, the result of both an ovarian cyst and Uterine Fibroid she had developed three years earlier around the time of Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny‘s conclusion.
However, in a spot of optimism, the SEED scribe revealed to the magazine that despite having spent a significant amount of time undergoing various outpatient treatments, she had manged to complete the film’s plot.
“The plot has been done for quite some time now,” Morosowa explained. “However, after [Mobile Suit Gundam SEED] Destiny was finished, my health got worse again, and I am still undergoing treatment at the hospital, so that has been a bottleneck. I am really sorry to everyone who is waiting for me. I’m just behind because of that, but it’s not that I’m losing the project, or that I’m losing the energy to do it. I am sorry.”
“In my mind, [the series protagonists] Athrun Zala, Kira Yamato, and Shinn Asuka are all fine,” she teased. “I am sure that we will deliver what we have thought about and created to the best of our ability.”
Unfortunately, though production on the film would slowly move forward, Morosowa’s health would only continue to worsen. In 2016, she would sadly succumb to her illness, passing away after suffering an aortic dissection.
In light of this heartbreaking development, Bandai Namco chose to respect the scriptwriter’s legacy by indefinitely postponing Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Freedom.
That was until 2021 when, as part of the series’ 20th Anniversary GUNDAM SEED PROJECT ignited media production initiative, Bandai Namco confirmed that the series’ third film had officially been recommissioned for battle.
“GUNDAM SEED PROJECT ignited PROJECT 1!” announced the Japanese production company in May 2021. “A theater production is in production! A feature film, a sequel to the TV series, is currently in production under the direction of Mitsuo Fukuda. Details will be announced in the future.”
Following the reveal of the GUNDAM SEED PROJECT ignited, Fukuda took to his personal Twitter account to not only confirm that he was still directing Freedom, but also provide insight into his late wife’s artistic process in conceiving the film’s story.
“The movie is a sequel to [Mobile Suit Gundam SEED] Destiny],” wrote the series co-creator (translated via ANN). “The story was put together by Morosawa. At the time, she was not satisfied with the story initially and so she revised it countless times. Even after she got sick she probably wrote well over 100 drafts.”
“With the participation of new people, the script is now complete,” he added. “I also participated in the scriptwriting.”
Following another two-years of worrying radio silence, July 2nd saw Bandai Namco finally provide fans with their first look at the next chapter of the SEED series in the form of a brief teaser trailer.
Centered mainly on returning heroes Kira Yamato and Lacus Clyne, the teaser ultimately ends with the confirmation that Mobile Suit Gundam SEED FREEDOM will finally launch into Japanese theaters on January 26, 2024.
2024.1.26 Road Show‼‼‼
— 機動戦士ガンダムSEEDシリーズ (@SEED_HDRP) July 2, 2023