We’ve reported over the past couple years that Transformers had seemingly created enough giant robot movie momentum that Voltron, the Americanized edit of a 1981 Japanese animated series in which robot lions form a giant super-robot, would get a movie of its own.
That’s no longer the case which, given the quality of the Transformers films, might not be a bad thing at all. Read More »
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What if Leonardo Da Vinci had designed five robot tigers that would combine to form a giant futuristic bad ass fighting machine, the design might look a lot like this t-shirt. ThinkGeek is selling the Vitruvian Voltron t-shirt, which features da Vinci-esque drawings printed all over the front (but not the back… the back is plain) of a sand-colored, 100% cotton t-shirt.
Atlas Entertainment is developing a live-action Voltron movie. Producers Charles Roven (The Dark Knight), Richard Suckle (The International) and Steve Alexander have acquired the rights to make a film based on the Japanese anime property after several years in development at various production companies.
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Earlier this month we reported that Relativity had scooped up the gestating Voltron movie from 20th Century Fox (nice move) with plans to make it with a “more moderate budget, utilizing the type of cost-effective technology employed in films including 300.” Latino Review (huge Voltron fans) report tonight that Max Makowski, a general unknown, is set to direct the nostalgic robot actioner.
Makowsi is currently attached to direct the revamp of Kung Fu, due in 2009, and he’s best known for the 2005 Sundance assassins flick, One Last Dance, co-starring Harvey Keitel. Haven’t seen it, neither has LR. IMDB: 6.0. Here’s the trailer. Other films he’s attached to, in a writing or directing capacity, include Shinobi and Hawaii Five-O.
A while ago, LR memorably referred to the script by the buzzing Justin Marks (Hack/Slash, Street Fighter: Chun Li) as a “fucking masterpiece.” I’ve got it, need to read it. Logline: “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.” I’ve been pretty amped to see this film for years, and the early word parlays that Makowski’s visual acumen will set it apart from Transformers. Playing it loose sans a $100 million budget and with a risky hotshot actually ups my anticipation.
Discuss: Familiar with Makowski? Please chime in below. Voltron fans, what do ya think?
/Film reader, ch, adds: “Saw One Last Dance. Didn’t hate it, didn’t love it. A definite ode to some its more entertaining Korean action predecessors.”
20th Century Fox has put the big screen adaptation of Voltron in turnaround, and the project is now being set-up at Relativity Media with, according to Variety, a “more moderate budget, utilizing the type of cost-effective technology employed in films including 300.” Mark Gordon and Jordan Wynn will produce the project, which is expected to announce a director within the next week. Relativity will finance and produce the film, before shopping it around to perspective distributors. Past Relativity films have been distributed by Lionsgate, but I would expect a bigger studio to bite. The “more moderate budget” comment does worry me a bit, because a film like this can not be done right if you skimp on the effects and action sequences.
The live-action project was in development since 2004. Interest skyrocketed after the box office success of Michael Bay’s Transformers. He-Man scribe Justin Marks penned the screenplay which is being 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.” Marks is also working on the Green Arrow prison break film SuperMax and a new Street Fighter spin-off. LatinoReview called the script “a fucking masterpiece” and CinemaBlend called it “a well put together, well intentioned, incredibly faithful Voltron script using modern sensibilities.”
I still haven’t read the screenplay (boy, if only I had more time, all the things I could accomplish) but I’m excited at the possibility of another big robot action film. This is a genre that really hasn’t been explored, and probably wasn’t even possible to do in live-action thanks to the advances in computer generated effects, until the last five years. With Trasnformers 2 in production, Voltron moving forward, and Robotech set up at Tobey Maguire’s company, it looks like we’ll have a lot of big robot action to look forward to over the next few years.
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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.