The 20th Century Fox-based production company New Regency is close to a deal with the Mark Gordon Company to bring Voltron: Defender of the Universe the the big screen. The live-action project was in development since 2004. Interest likely skyrocketed after the huge popularity of Michael Bay’s Transformers. The popular 1980’s japanese created animated television series was also part of the 1-18-08/Cloverfield fanboy speculation. Now that another production company will own the rights to the project, may-be the rumors will finally stop.
He-Man scribe Justin Marks penned the screenplay which is being described as “a post-apocalyptic tale set in New York City and Mexico. 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.” Marks is also working on the Green Arrow prison break film SuperMax and a new version of Street Fighter.
I actually believe that a Voltron movie could be cool if it wasn’t geared towards young children. 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.
Now that the movie trailer for the top secret JJ Abrams produced monster movie (tentatively titled Cloverfield) has been unleashed on the world, a big faction of the internet refuses to believe that it’s just another monster movie. Much of the speculation around the fanboy circles points to either another American Godzilla movie or a big screen live action Voltron film. Before we explore those two theories, let’s take a look at what we supposedly know so far.
- JJ Abrams is producing
- Long time Abrams collaborator Drew Godard (Lost, Alias, Angel, Buffy) wrote the script
- Matt Reeves (The Pallbearer) is attached to direct
- The whole film will be shot from the POv of consumer handheld video cameras
- The monster or alien is being referred to as a “parasite”
- The City is New York City
- In the trailer they throw a going away party for a young man going to Japan
- There is a Godzillaish roar in the background which sounds a little robotic
- At the end it says In Theaters 1.18.2008
- The trailer was shot before principal photography
- As far as we know, they have not begun principal photography
- JJ Abrams Bad Robot production company is making the film for Paramount Pictures
Some people are pushing the Voltron theory based on the idea that at around one minute and twenty seconds into the trailer, one of the kids yells “It’s a Lion!” But the truth of the matter is, he says “ahhh! It’s alive, It’s huge.” There is no “lion” spoken in the trailer.
The Godzilla faction has used this misquote to support a theory that the movie features Monster Zero (King Ghidorah), a Godzilla monster that looks like a lion, comes from space and shoots fire balls. One thing is for sure, it’s not Godzilla himself because “It” comes from the sky and can throw/spit/produce fireballs. And we must all remmber that a 3D Gozilla is currently also in production.
Others have speculated that the movie might be a remake of Gamera: The Guardian of the Universe. Gamera uses a fireball weapon which seems to fit the action shown in the trailer. But Gamera is virtually unknown by the American audience, so what is the point of using/buying his name property?
The screenwriter for Voltron has said the battle takes place in Manhattan, and that the monsters have parasitic qualities which allow them to regenerate themselves by combining with metal debris. Voltron also fought parasite monsters in the series. However, the Voltron rights still belong to Mark Gordon Productions, and involves a crew of producers that are supposedly not involved in Cloverfield. Mark Gordon Productions is also not a production company under Paramount.
And then there was the emergence of the voltronblog.com website. We have done a whois lookup, and it appears that it is owned/hosted by a different company than the one that is running the official Cloverfield website (1-18-08.com).
I think the biggest fact that many people are overlooking is the release date: January 18th 2008. That’s only six months away and the film has yet to begin principal photography. Sure, that timeline is good enough for a talkie indie film but a big monster movie with lots of special effects? Something seems really off. The timing of the January release also seems off for this type of movie. Some people are speculating that the date is in fact the film’s title. And others are speculating that the date is not the film’s release date, but a release date of a trailer or more viral information.
Some have even speculated that this might be one giant campaign for the Abrams co-created television series LOST. It could just be a coincidence that LOST returns to network television a few weeks after the 1.18.2008 date and is expected to involve flash forwards to the “real world”. JJ Abrams’ Bad Robot is also the production company behind lost. This whole dissection of the movie trailer and online discussion also seems something much in the vein of the LOST television series.
One thing is for sure, Paramount and JJ Abrams have gotten our attention. We’ll have to wait and see how this pans out.