Voltron – the television series about a team of humans who pilot five giant robotic cat-shaped machines, that can respectively piece together to form one giant humanoid machine – has walked a bumpy road towards the big screen. Created by Peter Keefe, for World Events Productions, the original 80’s TV series was actually just a mash-up of re-purposed footage from two completely unrelated Japanese anime series. The show turned out to be a surprise mega-hit worldwide, which inevitably meant that Toei Animation, the creators of those original anime series, eventually showed up wanting their due. Legal woes ensued.
In 2000, World Events made a new deal with Toei. Then rise of the superhero genre finally made a feature adaptation seem plausible. In 2005, Grey’s Anatomy producer Mark Gordon began work on a Voltron film, but the project eventually fell apart when it was revealed that Toei only granted World Events permission for television-based projects. Then Michael Bay’s Transformers happened and demolished the box-office, which was no doubt frustrating for World Events, considering that Voltron had bigger global ratings back in the 80’s. But, bright side to Transformers success was that interest in a Voltron movie was likely greatly improved. America liked giant robots now.
Well, eventually World Events hammered out a deal with Toei, and the feature film adaptation started limping towards the finish line. Sadly, creator Peter Keefe passed away last May before being able see his mash-up on the big screen. But a script was written by upcoming Conan scribes Thomas Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer, and last fall some blah concept art was released. Still it was seeming like maybe the movie just wasn’t going to happen.
But now Vulture is reporting that several “big name” suitors are wooing World Events with their money-bags. Vulture does not specify who the potential investors are, but one is likely Relativity Media, who was backing the Mark Gordon project. Vulture also theorizes that Paramount is likely a suitor too, as the studio’s parent company, Viacom, is already in bed with the franchise (a new animated series, Voltron Force, will air on Nicktoons this May). So I guess we’ll see what happens. World Events says they’re hoping to have the film in theaters 2013 or 2014.