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  • Writer's pictureAaron Fonseca

Amazon Circling Live-Action Voltron Movie From Red Notice Director

Amazon Prime is currently in talks to pick up a live-action film based on the 1980s anime Voltron.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the streaming service intends to make a live-action feature with Red Notice filmmaker Rawson Marshall Thurber attached to direct. Thurber created the story and will co-write the script with Ellen Shanman, which Todd Lieberman and David Hoberman produced alongside Bob Koplar, the head of World Events Productions. World Events Productions controls the property rights for Voltron.

Attempts to launch a live-action Voltron movie started in the early 2000s, but it never quite got off the ground. Grey's Anatomy producer Mark Gordon and musician Pharrell Williams attempted to mount a Voltron project in the mid-2000s, with New Regency jumping in later, but it never took off. Then in the early 2010s, Relativity Media tried to develop a feature alongside Thomas Dean Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer, the writing team behind 2011's failed Conan the Barbarian film. Dreamworks also attempted an animated feature at one point, but it never made it past the development phase.

Then last month, a package for a live-action Voltron made waves in Hollywood, inspiring a bidding war for the project between Amazon Studios, Warner Bros, Universal and several other studios. Notably, Netflix did not throw in any bids for the project, despite streaming the last interpretation for the franchise, Voltron: Legendary Defender, with the showrunners behind Avatar: The Last Airbender. It is unclear whether this new film will be Thurber's next project, as he is attached to write and direct back-to-back sequels for Red Notice and the Dungeons & Dragons live-action series.

World Events Productions created Voltron in 1984. Similar to other series of the era, such as Robotech, Voltron was adapted from recut footage of several Japanese anime series, primarily Toei Animation's Beast King GoLion. Voltron became one of the highest-rated animated series of the 1980s, ultimately spawning a franchise that includes a popular toy line, several spin-offs and reboots and several comic and video game adaptations.

The premise of the original series centered around five young men who each piloted a different colored mechanical lion. The lions could combine to form Voltron, a giant robot with a sword when fighting powerful enemies. They are tasked with protecting the planet Arus and its leader, Princess Allura, from the evil warlord Zarkon and his army of cybernetic monsters. The series has maintained a cult following since, inspiring the multitude of adaptations and booming franchise.

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