It’s been a while since we have heard about the possibility of a live action version of the 80s cartoon Voltron. Back in October of 2009 it was reported that The Dark Knight producer Charles Roven was working with rights-holder World Event Prods. to get a movie on track, and also there was some business with UTA assisting them in bringing the product to multiple platforms. In general, it was the typical Hollywood quagmire of company names and rights issues, and who knows what.
But now, quite a while later, things seem to be moving in a more concrete direction. Roven, still involved with the project in some way, has helped bring the rights over to Relativity Media. They now apparently have a live action Voltron movie optioned, and they’ve brought on Thomas Dean Donnelly (Conan the Barbarian) and Joshua Oppenheimer (Sahara) to write a screenplay.
For those not familiar with the property, Voltron: Defender of the Universe was an 80s cartoon that felt pretty different and out there when sat next to the other big cartoons of the time like G.I. Joe and even Transformers, probably because it was based on a couple of animes called Beast King GoLion and Kikou Kantai Dairugger XV. Japanese artistic styles and sensibilities weren’t nearly as prevalent in the States back then as they are now. It told the story of five people who piloted giant lion robots that they used to pretty regularly save the world. When things got really sticky, all five of their lions could transform and combine themselves into one giant humanoid robot named Voltron. He had a big sword and was pretty much unstoppable. These days the property lives on in animated form as NickToons’ Voltron Force.
Want to hear one of those nice, optimistic sounding official lines on this new live action project? Relativity’s president of worldwide production, Tucker Tooley, says of the upcoming film, “For nearly three decades, Voltron has captured the minds of a nostalgically loyal and rabid fan base and has long been considered a hotly-pursued project. We are beyond excited World Event Productions and Atlas Entertainment have placed their trust and faith in Relativity to bring this coveted property to the big screen, and usher in a new generation of devoted fans.” That’s some lovely sentiment, but is this thing really happening now, or is this just the latest in a series of various company names playing hot potato with the Voltron rights? Let’s get a disappointing director and a milquetoast young star attached to this thing already!