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Animation and Anime

Next Voltron Heading To Small, Rather Than Big Screen

Logo handmade by Bannister Column by Scott Green
Variety is reporting that America's favorite combining robot, Voltron, is taking a route more similar to the recently announced Thundercats revival than its big screen toy tie-ins brethren G.I Joe and Transformers. Marking the franchise's 25th anniversary, a new, animated 26 episode "Voltron Force, will run Nicktoons alongside Mattel toy launch in 2011. WEP and Classic Media will produce the series with Kickstart Productions ("Wolverine and the X-Men"), with Classic Media handling the licensing. The series and its toy tie-ins have been described as employing an "edgier, modernized robot." "What's paramount is getting the toys right," Ted Koplar, president of St. Louis-based WEP told Daily Variety. "They're pretty involved toys that have to transform and fit together." WEP and Classic Media had been developing a live action feature for some time but scribes, including Justin Marks, have yet to lock down the right tone, producers said. The last twist in the Voltron revival development saga had been a project reboot, with prior movie scripts discarded and a harder-edged, PG-13-rated Voltron OVA in the vein of The Animatrix and Batman: Gotham Knight is being discussed. When Quiet Earth spoke to Voltron producer Jeremy Corray, it was stated "we have pressed the reset switch on the front of the old NES." It's been a legally contentious journey. According to Hollywood Reporter, last September a law suit has been filed in Los Angeles Superior Court when indie producers James Young, Ford Oelman and Mark Costa of banners Animus Films and NHO Entertainment alleged that St. Louis-based World Events, which holds rights to the television property, and its partner Kickstart Prods. negotiated illegally with other producers during what the producers say was an exclusive period. "World Events secretly conspired with Jason Netter and Kickstart Entertainment to find investors and make the movie without NHO and Animus during the terms of the exclusive deal," the suit says. World Events and Kickstart responded with the statement "this lawsuit is frivolous and without merit, and we will defend ourselves vigorously," adding "fortunately, these baseless claims do not in any way encumber the film or any other Voltron project, and we are excited to proceed on the long-awaited Voltron feature film with our partner Atlas." Back in July 2009, Hollywood Reporter's Risky Business blog delved into the efforts to kickstart the live action of combining giant robot Voltron. ImageAtlas Entertainment’s Charles Roven, Richard Suckle and Steve Alexander, the producers behind "Get Smart" and "The International" (and Roven of course also produced "The Dark Knight) had acquired the rights to make a live-action feature based on the robot-lion property, pushing the project forward after several years in development with the Mark Gordon Company. And, live action Voltron hit some legal trouble the previous year. According to Anime News Network, World Events Productions (WEP) attempted to serve Toei Animation with a law suit concerning the live action adaptation of Voltron. While Toei produced Hyakujuu Ou Golion (King of Beasts Golion), the anime localized as "lion" Voltron and Kikou Kantai Dairugger XV (Mechanized Fleet Dairugger XV), localized as "vehicle" Voltron, Koplar Communications licensed the rights to that original anime and produced the Volton localization. The relationship between Kopar and Toei went to the courts in 1999 when Koplar's WEP production company created the CG Voltron: The Third Dimension, leading to new agreements between the companies in 2000, and future head-aches trying to suss out who had the rights to what. For more on the dispute between Kopar/WEP and Toei that ensued following Variety's report concerning the Voltron live action, check out Anime News Network's blow by blow here.

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  • June 7, 2010, 9:42 p.m. CST

    First

    by Faggoteer

  • June 7, 2010, 9:42 p.m. CST

    Oh

    by Faggoteer

    and this is gay!

  • June 7, 2010, 9:44 p.m. CST

    Fine by me

    by tao_pilot

    An animation reboot would just work so much better than a live-action movie. Too much mythology to try to pack into a movie, and it just wouldn't work as well live-action anyway. Just hoping Sven gets a little more time with the team this time around.

  • June 7, 2010, 9:44 p.m. CST

    IT'S A LION!!

    by MARCEL_THE_NEGRO_PROJECTIONIST

    Just saying'.

  • June 7, 2010, 9:46 p.m. CST

    Love that opening!

    by SpaceAce

    Brings back memories!

  • June 7, 2010, 9:53 p.m. CST

    IT'S HUGE!

    by Stereotypical Evil Archer

    Seriously, how many years is that going to be funny? Probably as long as "sexiest tomboy beanpole".

  • June 7, 2010, 9:54 p.m. CST

    LOL..

    by ShogunMaster

    The Faggoteer called this 'gay'...

  • June 7, 2010, 9:56 p.m. CST

    ShogunMaster, he should know, shouldn't he?

    by Stereotypical Evil Archer

  • June 7, 2010, 9:57 p.m. CST

    by tao_pilot

    Hopefully they'll also keep the 'running to the lions' and 'forming voltrons' scenes true to the original. Not necessarily exact, but similar enough.

  • June 7, 2010, 9:58 p.m. CST

    Stereotypical Evil Archer

    by ShogunMaster

    Church.

  • June 7, 2010, 10 p.m. CST

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  • June 7, 2010, 10:06 p.m. CST

    Wait for it, wait for it....

    by br1947

    "Man this show totally ripped off Power Rangers" ...you know this is coming

  • June 7, 2010, 10:11 p.m. CST

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  • June 7, 2010, 10:23 p.m. CST

    "edgier robot"

    by theycallmemrtibbs

    The New Voltron Robot is gonna be sportin' a new era cap flipped to the back a fly gold chain and a pair of Air Jordans this fghfggdfgd fellow is trying to sell to the aintitcool naton.

  • June 7, 2010, 10:25 p.m. CST

    They keep trying to fuck over Toei

    by Chief Joseph

    WEP and Toei need to get on the same page. WEP keeps trying to screw them out of the deal. They don't seem to realize that Toei MADE the damn thing, all WEP did is hack out all the violence and dub it. Their "Voltron 3rd Dimension" was a colossal flop.<br> Frankly, I think the success of the show was something of a fluke; it was really the only super robot anime being shown on US TV at the time and had cornered the market.

  • June 7, 2010, 10:49 p.m. CST

    Hope Lance has a big part in it

    by Annie The Pod Racer

    Princess Allura was kinda distracting. You know, boners and stuff....

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  • June 7, 2010, 11 p.m. CST

    its alive

    by ORIONgods

  • June 7, 2010, 11:24 p.m. CST

    9/11 was a long con

    by CRISPIN_GLOVERS_ACID_FLASHBACK

    "I saw it, it's alive, it's huge!" Rewatch "Cloverfield"...particularly the scene where they are walking up the stairwell to go save the guy's girlfriend in the collapsed building...when they are on the 47th floor (you see the floor number on the wall) the guy filming says something like "maybe the government is behind this monster shit"...well, wtc 7 had 47 stories...maybe sly reference to building seven conspiracy theories/9/11 inside job?

  • June 7, 2010, 11:33 p.m. CST

    I thought voltron was in the wrecked traincar

    by 'Cholera's Ghost

  • June 7, 2010, 11:47 p.m. CST

    So is Jaime Bell going to be in this..wait..no..HES SPIDERMAN

    by EddieMurphysLaugh

  • June 8, 2010, 12:07 a.m. CST

    Is Scott Green...

    by NotMalcolmReed

    the only aicn columnist whose headlines dont have !!???... and thundercats are pussies compared to lion force voltron.

  • June 8, 2010, 1:52 a.m. CST

    How much edgier could Voltron be?

    by MediaGold

    The thing is like 300 feet tall, made of five huge ferocious robot predator lions, has weapons and lasers and missiles and spears and shit coming out of every orifice that will kill you dead, and makes a massive sharp ass sword out of flame that never fails to cut the enemy into pieces and then the pieces explode like they were made of H bombs. Maybe they'll make him smoke and get a tattoo.

  • June 8, 2010, 4:19 a.m. CST

    What? I was expecting Gladiator Voltron II...

    by JT Kirk

    Shit, at least something from Vehicles Voltron 1, damnit.<P> Man, when I was a kid, Voltron 1 and 3 (vehicles, lions) rocked my socks off, the idea behind the toys did anyway. The V1 show sucked ass, and the V3 show was impressively repetitive. But at least the V3 lions show had semi-interesting characters and bright primary colors and "I'll form the head!" and the bitchen metal sword that appeared from the hands and of course quite a stirring themesong. Plus, it didn't have a fucking woefully-out-of-scale Toyota Corolla and Chevy S-10 Blazer for the feet. I kid Vehicles Voltron, but of all of them, that's the only one I own a knockoff of full-sized (I own the smaller-scale tranforming Lions Voltron from the '90s when Trendmasters had the license as well, but no longer the full-sized gang). So naturally, which Voltron products were the findable ones from Matchbox? The ones that DIDN'T TRANSFORM and those fucking Gladiator Voltron assholes. Way to call which ones folks would want, Matchbox.

  • June 8, 2010, 5:53 a.m. CST

    Wow..nice TB.either peopelt think Green sucks or Voltron

    by EddieMurphysLaugh

    And since Green looks like Pidge..I'm guessing no one fucking gives a shit about Voltron.

  • June 8, 2010, 5:58 a.m. CST

    Adrian Brody met with Christopher Nolan

    by EddieMurphysLaugh

  • June 8, 2010, 6:25 a.m. CST

    The "Car" Voltron gets no love....

    by Mr. Profit

    I'm just saying.

  • June 8, 2010, 7:33 a.m. CST

    Better on TV then live action

    by shutupfanboy

    Power Rangers killed this from being a live action movie. The cost of CGI alone would put in the 150 to 200 million dollar range let alone getting actors and sets. I also think it was a fluke show. It was a great show when it was on, but like all things in the 80s, it had a two to three year shelf life. I hated the second Voltron in space series and the less said about Voltron cartoon team-up movie the better.

  • June 8, 2010, 8:18 a.m. CST

    Micronauts Instead!

    by Bodacious_Crumb

    I'm still curious what JJ has in store for that adaptation. In a perfect world, he would secure the rights to the Marvel characters and do it justice.

  • June 8, 2010, 8:34 a.m. CST

    Who cares?

    by Holeman

    Anyone who thinks a fucking "Voltron" movie is something we need, seriously needs to kill themselves before they find someone stupid enough to let them breed another idiot into the world. Fuck "Voltron".

  • June 8, 2010, 8:45 a.m. CST

    I remember thinking...

    by WeylandYutani

    as a kid "why are they driving cat robots? Why not just spaceships? Cats seem to be a bit impracticable to me." I guess I was a dog person... never mind how the bad guy would just sit there for 5 minutes while Voltron did its transformation sequence each episode. <P> Kids are funny.

  • June 8, 2010, 8:53 a.m. CST

    Toei has a history of fucking themselves

    by Geomancer21

    They don't need someone else to do it for them. I can completely see the story idonotseekabanning mentioned being true. <BR><BR> Between their fucking over any and all US releases of Sailor Moon (and holding back Stars) so they could focus SOLELY on their crappy live action version (not counting the fact they dubbed season 3 and 4 THEMSELVES under the name Cloverway and couldn't even be bothered to clean up the video or give the show a decent stereo mix (it was mono), both things even DiC could do for seasons 1 and 2). and the whole Knights of the Zodiac/Saint Seiya fiasco. The idea of them giving up the rights and demanding them back once money was to be made doesn't seem very far fetched.

  • June 8, 2010, 8:57 a.m. CST

    I'm glad this is happening, but...

    by Anna Valerious

    As long as that lousy movie isn't made, I'm happy, but when is a Jp. animated "Voltron" EVER going to show up again? Cripes, the last one was unwatchable, I'm not sure if I could stomach this. (Although "Astro Boy" being made in China wasn't something I was upset about...)

  • June 8, 2010, 8:58 a.m. CST

    Remember that movie trailer where Voltron invaded NYC?

    by rev_skarekroe

    You never saw Voltron, but you had all these people talking about the huge lions. Did that flick ever come out?

  • June 8, 2010, 9:16 a.m. CST

    Geomancer21

    by quicksilver80

    What was the Saint Seiya fiasco? It was one of my favorite shows, bloody and violent as hell...but then again I live in Latin America, was it censored in the U.S.?

  • June 8, 2010, 10:31 a.m. CST

    Anime style

    by zyuray2

    God, I hope they don't make this in that stupid anime style kids go crazy over these days.

  • June 8, 2010, 10:34 a.m. CST

    This is great news

    by smackfu

    Because my one complaint about the original Voltron series is that it wasn't 'edgy' enough. IMO Voltron should be in my face, to the max. I want to see Voltron slam a Mountain Dew Code Red in mid-air after launching from a half-pipe on a skateboard made of other transforming robots, that are even edgier than Voltron. What would be even better, is if Voltron said 'radical' a lot.

  • June 8, 2010, 10:48 a.m. CST

    Smackfu

    by quicksilver80

    You mean like Poochie?

  • June 8, 2010, 11:31 a.m. CST

    Casting thoughts for a live action Voltron film

    by JacksParasites

    I'm thinking Jim Sturgess as Keith, Jared Leto as Lance, Evan Rachel Wood as Allura, and Aaron Douglas as Hunk.

  • June 8, 2010, 1:03 p.m. CST

    Fillion and Ackles?

    by zyuray2

    No one's suggested Nathan Fillion or Jensen Ackles for roles in this yet? Oh talkbackers, you are slacking off.

  • June 8, 2010, 1:10 p.m. CST

    The only thing Voltron had going for it

    by Dingbatty

    was the cool looking combining mecha. Other than that, the story was repetitive and dull.

  • June 8, 2010, 5:44 p.m. CST

    WeylandYutani, the Voltron transformation was interrupted on occ

    by HollywoodHellraiser

    Dunno if you were a avid watcher or simply forgotten, but yeah.

  • June 8, 2010, 6:30 p.m. CST

    Lion Voltron was cool...

    by JayLenoTookMyJob

    ...but the one made of trucks, cars and old school Volkswagon vans sucked. Both series made absolutely no fuckin' sense though. (Maybe they were badly translated?) But, I used to watch every morning in college before I went to class. Coffee, a Pop-Tart and Voltron... the right way to start the day.

  • June 8, 2010, 9:35 p.m. CST

    Voltron work as a Anime show

    by Naruto_Uzimaki

    but would suck as a LAM. I'd rather watch Robotech as a LAM more since its story was more mature and a little more realistic. That was the first show that show people actually getting killed on TV for a after school cartoon.

  • June 9, 2010, 3:08 a.m. CST

    Nothing to do with Voltron Murkmyre, I take it?

    by feebster69

    http://www.amazon.com/Murkmyre-Clifford-James-Hayes/dp/0755204603/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1276070899&sr=1-1

  • June 9, 2010, 11:05 p.m. CST

    As long as they keep the Robobeast music..

    by GornPirate

    DUNDUNDUNDUNDUNDUNDUNDUNDUNDUNDaNuhDaNuhDUNDUNDUNDUNDUNDUNDUNDUNDUNDUNDOoooink

  • June 10, 2010, 9:39 a.m. CST

    What's paramount is getting the toys right

    by mos6507

    Now there's the seal of quality there. Toys first, entertainment value second.

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