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‘Voltron’ live-action film adaptation sparks movie studio bidding war

Voltron
Image: Peacock Kids
  • A live-action adaptation of the popular sci-fi animated television series “Voltron: Defender of the Universe” was pitched to Hollywood studios.

  • “Red Notice” filmmaker Rawson Marshall Thurber is attached to the project as its director and co-writer.

  • “Voltron: Defender of the Universe,” a syndicated show from the 1980s, was a dubbed and heavily edited version of two unrelated Japanese television series from Toei Animation.

  • Thurber will be creating the screenplay with Ellen Shanman. Todd Lieberman, David Hoberman and Bob Koplar are set to co-produce the film.

  • The project incited a bidding war among six to seven studios, including Warner Bros. Pictures, Universal Pictures and Amazon Studios.

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“Voltron: Defender of the Universe,” a popular sci-fi animated television series featuring giant robot lions, is set to receive the live-action treatment, with multiple Hollywood studios expressing interest in the project.

Form feet and legs!

“Voltron,” which ran as a syndicated show in the U.S. in the 1980s, was a dubbed and heavily edited version of two unrelated Japanese television series from Toei Animation.

Peter Keefe, the show’s creator and executive producer, bought the rights to the Japanese anime television series “Beast King GoLion” and “Armored Fleet Dairugger XV” in 1983. By bringing together various parts of these series, Keefe created the U.S. version of “Voltron” with a Westernized storyline and script.

The show chronicles the adventures of five individuals who become the pilots of a battalion known as Robot Lions. The pilots’ high-tech vessels can combine to create a giant robot known as Voltron.

The adaptation was a huge hit upon launch and has since retained a massive following among anime fans of the mecha genre.

 

The bidding war

The “Voltron” film package, which includes pitches and a teaser reel, was reportedly made known to Hollywood executives around two weeks ago. Director Rawson Marshall Thurber of “Red Notice” fame is attached to the project as its director and co-writer. 

The project reportedly attracted offers from six or seven studios, including Warner Bros. Pictures, Universal Pictures and Amazon Studios. Netflix, which streams both “Red Notice” and the 2016 “Voltron: Legendary Defender” animated series, did not participate in the bidding war. 

Thurber will collaborate with Ellen Shanman to create the script of the new “Voltron” film. Todd Lieberman and David Hoberman will co-produce the title with Bob Koplar of World Events Productions, a U.S. animation and distribution company known for releasing “Voltron: Defender of the Universe.”

Previous attempts by Hollywood to launch a live-action “Voltron” movie in the early 2000s and the 2010s never pushed through. While sources say this new project could land its studio by the end of the weekend, no other details regarding the plot or casting have been announced.

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