These days, with the streaming wars in full go-mode and studios scrambling over themselves to house more and more content, it makes total sense that we would rehash some fan-favorite stories and characters from the past. Did they need to be iconic in nature? Of course not. If there was even a window of popularity for something in the past (in this case, the 1980s) then it feels like almost a certainty that we would get a chance to see it comes back in some form for a current adaptation. And that’s going to be the case with a live-action Voltron movie which is currently in development. While still a bit early on in the process, we do have some idea about how this could take shape over the next few years. Let’s dive into what we know about the live-action Voltron movie and what’s in store for this character.
What Is Voltron?
The live-action Voltron movie will be based on the character of the name which first originated on the small screen in the 1980s as a Saturday morning kids cartoon. It was originally based on the Japanese anime series Beast King Go-Lion though that was shifted into the Voltron series once it got English dubbing. The central idea is that the galaxy is now an interconnected place with the legend of Voltron, a might defender of all living things, emerging as a pathway to peace for a number of different races. But the character is very much a mystery until a group of alliance fighters is sent to the deep reaches of space to find Voltron.
When threatened by some evil forces in the universe, these fighters who each operate robotic lions as their primary transportation and weapon system are tasked with fighting off King Zarkon and Prince Lotor. When the lions, each represented by a color (Black, Red, Green, Blue, and Yellow) combine they can complete a representation of Lion Voltron, a more formidable force to fight off enemies. It’s a classic, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts, situation.
This new form of Voltron (once a mecha in its own right) has some pretty crazy powers, though easily its best weapon is the Blazing Sword that “he” can break out by hitting his hands together once formed. You can see some of what I mean by this in the most recent Netflix version of the character in Voltron: Legendary Defender which was released a few years ago.
Who Is Leading The Voltron Movie?
According to The Hollywood Reporter, a bidding war recently ramped up among a number of different studios to have the pleasure of bringing a Voltron movie to the big screen. One of the reasons so many houses were clamoring for the opportunity was because Rawson Marshall Thurber has already come attached and would be directing as well as handling the script. He’s done a number of big-budget crowdpleasers with the most recent being Red Notice on Netflix. Starring Dwayne Johnson, Ryan Reynolds, and Gal Gadot, the movie became the most-watched original movie on the streamer through its first 28-day release window. There is already a sequel in the works.
And that wasn’t the first time that Rawson Marshall Thurber had worked with Dwayne Johnson either. The former helmed Skyscraper as well as Central Intelligence with The Rock on those. And he’s done some movies in the comedic vein as well, an area of strength for the director who’s also helmed We’re the Millers and Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story before that.
We aren’t sure yet where the live-action Voltron movie is going to land but as of this writing Warner Bros., Amazon, and Universal were all in the mix. Though it doesn’t appear Netflix wants in on this project. No matter where is goes, with these folks bidding as suitors, one would have to think the budget would climb pretty high pretty quickly.
Has A Voltron Movie Been Attempted Before?
The idea of a Voltron movie has been kicking around in Hollywood for almost two decades now, though no one has come all that close to pulling it off. That’s because for a while Relativity Media was on board to distribute the planned film which had started to gain some steam around 2007 and 2008. The plan was for it to be Voltron: Defender of the Universe and was going to set itself on Earth in the future following an alien attack. The other story mechanics around the robotic lions forming Voltron were going to stay in place. But Relativity filed for bankruptcy and the rights reverted, eventually landing with DreamWorks and then NBCUniversal back in 2016. But it’s been quiet on the Voltron front, until now.
Are There Other Voltron Stories Out There?
Again, though this title has been kicking around since the mid-80s, we’ve had other animated adaptations along the way. Most recently, it was the above Netflix offering which lasted eight seasons on the streamer from just 2016 to 2018. These were shorter offering, just a few episodes each which is why they released in such quick succession. It received near-unanimous critical praise, scoring an average of 95% on Rotten Tomatoes throughout its run. Critics thought the show not only paid due homage to the original, something that would play with longtime fans of the franchise. But there was also praise for the visuals and storylines developed throughout.
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When Can We Expect The Voltron Movie?
With bidding on the project not even completed yet, we are still a long way off here. This isn’t even the next planned film for Rawson Marshall Thuber who is working on an adaptation of The Division, based on the Tom Clancy role-playing video game. He was tapped to helm the movie version. There’s a very good chance this comes first in line when it comes to production.
In the meantime, we will be updating often for more Voltron movie news and there are sure to be some big announcements along those lines in the coming months.