Earlier this week, it was announced that the live-action Voltron movie was officially dead, and that the giant robot franchise would instead re-appear on television, via a Nicktoons show called Voltron Force. We’ve known about this Television show for a while; so we thought this was strange news. Turns out it wasn’t exactly true.
Voltron producers Richard Suckle and Ted Koplar confirmed to MTV that the live-action feature film adaptation is still in development, and that a new screenwriter would be announced soon.
We’ve been working over the last several months meeting with various screenwriters, and we’re actually on the cusp of securing an A-level screenwriter who’s going to write the “Voltron” movie. That’s all part of the plan here: reintroducing the brand to the fans who’ve watched over the last 25 years and to a new generation. We are very close to securing a screenwriter who’s going to actually write the feature version — so that’s always been part of the plan.
Suckle confirmed that once they hire a new screenwriter, they will start completely from scratch and not incorporate any of the ideas from previous drafts. So what is the pitch for the new producers?
“…as much as it has a very strong robot element, this is a movie and a franchise that is driven by characters — these five people that in some or another are a representation of all of us. It’s really about how you have five different personalities working together in order to come together to form Voltron.” Kolplar adds: “The whole show is about teamwork — about a group of kids with various backgrounds who learn that the only way they’ll succeed is through the positive parts of each one’s background and bringing it together to make the robot work.”
The producers hope to have a live-action Voltron movie in theaters for Summer 2013, but right now that is all just wishful thinking. You can read the whole interview on MTV.
The live-action project has been in development since 2004, and interest skyrocketed after the box office success of Michael Bay’s Transformers. Mark Gordon had been developing the project, and geek screenwriter Justin Marks had written a screenplay which adapted the idea as an alien invasion film based on Earth. The project was set up at New Regency but last year was put into turnaround. Relativity Media came on board briefly (One Last Dance helmer Max Makowski was attached to direct), before Atlas acquired the rights.
While talking with Risky Biz, World Events’ Ted Koplar, another producer on the project, compared it to Transformers, saying that “unlike other robotic action movies, ‘Voltron’ is the personification of the human spirit, a quality that will set this movie apart.”
The project has not yet been set up at a studio, but considering that Atlas Entertainment has a overall deal with Warner Bros, its not hard to imagine it ending up there. Warner Bros is also developing another big robot film, Robotech. If both projects do end up at the same studio, it will be interesting to see which one gets pushed into production first (and what that might mean to the second project).
The Voltron concept could be cool if it isn’t dumbed down and geared towards children (worse case scenario is something closer to the Power Rangers). People want to see big giant robots fighting aliens and destroying all that lay in their path. This could be that movie. Plus, unlike Transformers, there is a human element which is already interconnected to the story. I had not read MArks script, but it certainly sounded like good from the descriptions.
It’s not clear if Marks script will be completely abandoned (my educated guess is yes), but it was described as “a post-apocalyptic tale set in New York City and Mexico” which follows “five ragtag survivors of an alien attack band together and end up piloting the five lion-shaped robots that combine and form the massive sword-wielding Voltron that helps battle Earth’s invaders.” LatinoReview called the script “a fucking masterpiece” and CinemaBlend called it “a well put together, well intentioned, incredibly faithful Voltron script using modern sensibilities.”