Live-Action Voltron Film from Red Notice Director Sparks Bidding War

The live-action Voltron movie has reportedly sparked a bidding war between six or seven of Hollywood's major studios.

Per The Hollywood Reporter, Warner Bros., Universal and Amazon Studios are reportedly among the half-dozen studios putting in offers on the new live-action reboot of the classic mecha anime. Red Notice director Rawson Marshall Thurber is attached to direct the movie. Thurber is also co-writing the film, alongside Tiger & Bunny writer Ellen Shanman. Notably, Netflix, which streamed the most recent series in the franchise, 2016's Voltron: Legendary Defender, is not among the studios battling over the distribution rights to the film. A pitch package, which included a teaser reel for the potential movie, was sent to the studios several weeks ago, and the movie's producers are expecting to close a deal before March 27.

Voltron was originally created by World Events Productions in 1984. Like Robotech, another syndicated animated import from the 1980s, the series was originally adapted from recut footage from several different Japanese anime series, the most notable of which was Toei Animation's Beast King GoLion. The original show was one of one of the highest rated animated shows of the '80s and has spawned a franchise that has continued in the decades since with multiple spinoffs and reboots, as well as numerous comic and video game adaptations.

The original series told the story of a team of five young men who each piloted a mechanical lion, which could transform and combine to form Voltron, a powerful, sword-wielding giant robot. The five warriors are tasked with protecting the planet Arus and its leader, Princess Aluria, from the evil warlord King Zarkon and his army of cybernetic monsters.

The movie industry has been attempting to create a live-action adaptation of the series ever since 2005, when Grey's Anatomy producer Mark Gordon announced plans for a film based on the franchise. Musician Pharrell Williams was also attached to produce and create the score for this iteration of the movie. Gordon's version of the film reportedly reimagined the series in a post-apocalyptic setting. The movie languished in development hell as Toei and World Events Productions engaged in a legal battle over the movie rights to the franchise, and distributor Relativity Media went bankrupt. In 2016, it was announced that Universal Pictures and DreamWorks Animation were now developing the project, with Metal Gear Solid actor and X-Men (2000) writer David Hayter penning the script, though this attempt at the Voltron movie appears to have also fallen through.

The original 1984 series is now available on DVD from Universal Home Pictures Entertainment. The 2016 reboot, Voltron: Legendary Defender, is available for streaming on Netflix.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

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