by Jonah Posted: July 27th, 2011 at 6:11 am
Anyone who visited San Diego this year would’ve been hard pressed to miss the fact that Voltron is poised for a comeback. Toys from Mattel, merchandizing galore, and a new animated series: Voltron Force all stand ready to descend once again on the nation’s youth and nostalgic generation xers. World Events Productions took part in the Voltron pressroom interviews at Comic Con, and I got the chance to interview WEP Creative Director Bob Koplar and Voltron Force Story Editor Todd Garfield. Check out both video interviews after the jump.
If you’re a toy collector, Comic-Con is heaven. That’s because not only do all the toys companies sell cool exclusives, they also show off tons of upcoming products. With my schedule packed doing interviews, Collider’s Ryan Brookhart spent the past few days taking tons of pictures of the latest collectibles on the Convention floor. Included in his image recap are Voltron, Star Trek, G.I. Joe, Batman, Masters of the Universe, Tron: Legacy, tons of upcoming Hot Toys products (Iron Man, Captain America, Avatar, Indiana Jones), tons of upcoming Sideshow Collectibles products, and a lot more. If you’re into toys/collectibles, you really want to hit the jump.
A short while ago, we posted the news that a deal has been signed with Relativity Media for a live-action Voltron movie. If that’s not enough to satiate your Voltron appetite, we’ve got a ton of info about the series video games, comics, graphic novels, TV series and toys. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Voltron, the premise is basically about five young pilots who command robotic lions that can combine into one all-powerful humanoid robot in order to defend the galaxy from evil. It was an iconic series both in Japan and in America back in the 1980s and I’m surprised its resurgence has taken this long (and I blame that mostly on Power Rangers). For a recap of all things Voltron-related, hit the jump.
Relativity Media and Atlas Entertainment announced that, following a bidding war, they have optioned the feature film rights for Voltron. The new movie will be a live-action remake based on the 1984 animated series Voltron: Defender of the Universe. Thomas Dean Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer (Sahara) will write the script. Here’s how the studios describe their newly acquired property:
In Voltron, an elite battle force defends the fate of mankind in the spectacular action adventure. Five young warriors are responsible for the future of the galaxy when they become pilots of a battalion of ultra-high-tech Robot Lions, powerful vessels with the ability to join together to form a fearsome mega-weapon known as “Voltron.”
If you found your way here, you are probably more familiar with Voltron than I am. I’ll let you pore over the details in the press release after the jump, and discuss the potential of a live-action movie with fellow fans in the comments.
[Update: Better yet, check out Dave's recap of the Voltron panel at Comic-Con.]
Back in June we learned that the feature film plan for Voltron had been scrapped, but the robotic heroes would still return in the form of Voltron Force, a new animated series ripe with plenty of characters for merchandising to children around the world. Now we have our first look at some cool images of some of the characters and even some storyboards frames from a couple action sequences. Obviously these are early pieces from pre-production and whatnot, but the final character designs and style may not be too far off from these images. Stay tuned to find out when Voltron Force will actually hit Nicktoons this spring, but in the meantime check out all of the images after the jump. Oh, and as for that Voltron feature film? It’s alive again.
Voltron has emerged from the legal morass which kept it imprisoned in development hell. Vulture reports that Relativity Media and Atlas Entertainment are in a bidding war to adapt the 1984 anime series that was pieced together from two separate anime series, which doesn’t exactly speak well of the diversity of anime in general. The original 1984 series, Voltron: Defender of the Universe centered on a group of pilots who control giant lion-robots that can come together to form a super-sized robot called Voltron. Studios bidding for the property hope to develop Voltron into a Transformers-size hit because we really needed more than one Transformers like property in the world (isn’t Transmorphers enough?).
The rights to Voltron currently belong to World Events, which is not only creating a new animated Voltron TV series, Voltron Force, but are developing a feature film as well. Since Nickelodeon is developing the series, it’s possible that sister company Paramount could also back the film. In any event, World Events executive VP Robert Koplar says that a Voltron movie is on track for a 2013 or 2014 release.
What’s this? I thought the Voltron film had stalled indefinitely, content to settle for the animated Nicktoon series Voltron Force for the time being. But Atlas Entertainment will not be satisfied. The studio is reportedly putting together quite the pitch for a Voltron feature. They’ve hired the screenwriting team of Thomas Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer, currently known as the writers of Sahara, perhaps soon known as the scribes behind Conan and Dr. Strange.
Part of that pitch includes some neat concept art, which you can check out after the jump.
Rather than make the leap straight to the big screen, the popular 80s cartoon Voltron will be launching a new animated series along with a new toy line. Variety reports that starting next year, Nicktoons will air 26 half-hour episodes of Voltron Force, which will still be about five space explorers who pilot robotic lions that combine to form Voltron, an invincible guardian sworn to defend the Universe. According to Variety, the “series will remain faithful to the old show, while introducing new recruits to fight alongside the original characters.” Naturally, you can expect new toys to accompany the new series.
Voltron joins other 80s cartoon show Thundercats as a property that is taking a step back from plans to go straight to a feature film and instead trying to rekindle interest through a new television series. The feature film adaptation hit a major snag last September when a lawsuit was filed between the owners of the television rights and the owners of the film rights.
With the success of 80′s properties like Transformers and G.I. Joe at the box office, it’s little wonder that movie studios are looking at what else they can grab from that decade so they can mine it for box office gold. As most of you know, Hollywood is trying to make Robotech, He-Man and Voltron movies, and while those could be very cool, the one 80′s property I’ve always wanted to see is Thundercats.
I don’t know why this cartoon means so much to me (maybe it’s the cool logo), but I’ve always thought the story of humanoid cats fleeing their exploding world was ripe with potential. Also, Mumm-Ra was awesome. But even though I’d love to see it, I’ve spoken to a few reliable sources and they tell me the movie is no longer happening at Warner Bros. I wish I wasn’t reporting that news.
But if you’re a fan of Thundercats toys and video games, then I got some good news for you as well. Hit the jump for more:
Form up, Voltron fans, and get ready for a rigorous wad of legal jargon which pretty much does nothing but to confirm what we already knew: The Voltron feature film is in the 9th circle of development hell, and probably won’t be resurfacing any time soon. More after the jump.