Voltron Trying Again

The Voltron movie may soon be reactivated. After the success of Transformers Fox had planned to turn the 80s cartoon about giant robot lions and their pilots into a feature film. They even had a script written and ready to go from Legend of Chun Li screenwriter Justin Marks. It went nowhere and then a month ago the Mark Gordon Company was supposed to do something with. That too now seems to have blown up since THR says the property’s US right’s holder World Events Prods. is yet again looking for new opportunities.

They’re doing it with help from the agency UTA, which has a plan to launch more toys, cartoons, and a cable series. They’re also restarting the movie process, hiring a new writer to pen a new script which they’ll shop around to Hollywood studios in the hope that they can get someone interested in this fairly silly concept.

Yeah I said it. Voltron is silly. Even sillier than robots turning into cars. I loved it as a kid and it sort of worked as a cartoon, but the universe it’s set in involves all kinds of ridiculous beasts, aliens, princesses, and a post-apocalyptic future populated by unrealistic characters. Actually when you say it that way, it sounds a little like Star Wars which almost certainly means this will only end in tears. In Transformers the only cartoony weirdness really is the robots, and that’s plopped down in the real world which sort of makes it all work. With Voltron it’s all cartoony weirdness and besides, it’s already been done as a live-action feature film. They called it Power Rangers, and a more blatant Voltron rip-off there has never been. It’s the same thing, Power Rangers is just a little dumber.

I don’t see this ever getting done. Justin Marks took a pretty good stab at a script that stayed faithful to the franchise and while it wasn’t terrible, it still came out kind of silly. The only way to fix it is either to spend a ton of money to make a proper Star Wars style space opera out of it (something no one in Hollywood has shown any inclination to do), or to throw out almost everything that makes Voltron, Voltron and start from scratch. And if you’re doing that, then why not forget Voltron altogether and start from scratch with a new premise? There’s a reason this movie didn’t get done the first time around. It’s a pretty simple one: It’s a bad idea. Great toys, fun cartoon; but a horrible movie awaits. I’d love to be wrong.

Josh Tyler