‘Voltron: Defender of the Universe’ Sparks a Bidding War

Relativity Media leads the charge in bringing this long-gestating adaptation of the popular cartoon series to life on the big screen.

Voltron sparks a bidding war
Voltron sparks a bidding war
News of Voltron: Defender of the Universe coming to theater screens has been kicking around for quite sometime, but now it seems the proposed live action-CGI adaptation of the popular animated series may becoming a reality. As a bidding war for franchise rights has begun, with Relativity Media leading the charge.

World Events Productions is the company behind the original 1984 program that featured iconic robotic lions and their human pilots who would gather to form the gigantic Voltron. Atlas Entertainment had been developing a screenplay, written by Conan the Barbarian's Thomas Dean Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer, for quite sometime. Many fans thought the project was dead. With various different production companies currently vying for the rights, it looks like Voltron: Defender of the Universe will actually be heading into production very soon.

One of the reasons Voltron: Defender of the Universe has taken so long to reach the big screen is because creator Peter Keefe compiled the original show from two different Japanese anime series, editing them together so that they would pass US broadcast standards. The show became a huge over-night hit, but Toei Animation, who produced the two original series from which Voltron was edited, wanted their share of the profits. Whenever Voltron: Defender of the Universe got rolling at a Hollywood studio, Toei Animation would want to be payed.

World Events Productions eventually bought Toei out of the equation, and in 2000 a theatrical adaptation of the series started to move forward. Producer Mark Gordon set out to make an animated feature film at 20th Century Fox, with pre-production lasting from 2005 to 2007. That deal fell apart when Toei once again came seeking money, claiming their original deal did not include a feature film.

This discrepancy was only recently worked out, and World Events Productions now has a brand-new Voltron cartoon premiering on Nicktoons in May.

If Relativity Media acquires the rights to make the big screen version of Voltron, it is not clear if they will distribute it themselves, or if they will co-produce with Paramount Pictures, who own Nicktoons. Development on the feature is moving along, and its likely that the film will be in theaters by 2013 or 2014, just in time for Voltron: Defender of the Universe's 30th birthday.

Voltron: Defender of the Universe is in development .

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Comments (18)

  1. Monkeyiron 2.0

    Hope it's something like Transformers meets Star trek because Voltron seems pretty cool!!!

    4 years agoby @Monkey-ironFlag

  2. WongFu

    Just the other day I was in a meeting with a Studio Executive about some advice and he mentioned that instead of trying to act that I should try directing. He liked a story that I wrote recently, my short horror story that I published a year ago.

    The day after I met up with a job hunter and he mentioned the same thing, but the thing is I have no idea where they think I could do such a thing.
    I guess they liked my dark side of it.

    Dreamworks would be perfect for this series.

    4 years agoby @instead8909Flag

  3. Bawnian©-Dexeus

    Again, Dreamworks needs to buy this baby. Its not only profitable, but worthy

    4 years agoby @bawnian-dexeusFlag

  4. Bawnian©-Dexeus

    @instead8909 Spielberg would be good as an executive producer. I don't think he'd be interested in this. Although I could be wrong. As a director he could very much give it justice.

    4 years agoby @bawnian-dexeusFlag

  5. thrashnasty190

    just hope its good

    4 years agoby @thrashnasty190Flag

  6. WongFu

    I was talking about Stephen Spielberg. Sommers is on a much different league: his own

    Bay can't hack it since he only does action films, and for the name dropping James is only on my wish list for many films that he won't do

    4 years agoby @instead8909Flag

  7. Jimthar

    you know damn well that cameron isn't going to do this. he has his head so far up his own ass lately with avatar that he's not coming anywhere near voltron. and please tell me that stephen s is NOT stephen sommers, the dude who killed the gi joe movie. please at least tell me that @instead8909

    4 years agoby @jimtharFlag

  8. WongFu

    I rather have Stephen S or James Cameron for this film

    4 years agoby @instead8909Flag

  9. Summit10

    megatrusters are go... can we go :)

    4 years agoby @summit10Flag

  10. Jimthar

    michael bay is the only one who could pull this off.

    4 years agoby @jimtharFlag

  11. angelheart1016

    I bet they'll get Michael Bay to direct it.

    4 years agoby @angelheart1016Flag

  12. TheMime

    Couldn't agree more man........

    4 years agoby @themimeFlag

  13. Bawnian©-Dexeus

    @themime Which is why I think Dreamworks should buy this baby. I has potential and with the right producers behind it and a stand up director, it will be an awesome franchise

    4 years agoby @bawnian-dexeusFlag

  14. TheMime

    Hope it sells like Transformers...or even better...

    4 years agoby @themimeFlag

  15. Rufio

    i was really stoked about this before, but with all the sub-company bickering i have a feeling they will find a way to mess this up. sucks b/c this could be a HUGE movie if done right!

    4 years agoby @rufioFlag


    Only time will tell...as seems to be the constant case w Voltron...

    4 years agoby @iamfratsonFlag

  17. CUPID

    Could be.

    4 years agoby @cupidFlag

  18. HighCaliberINC

    ...could be awesome

    4 years agoby @highcaliberincFlag

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