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Live-action Voltron movie moves forward

voltron-defender-of-the-universe-movieRumors have been circulating for years regarding a potential live-action movie based on the 1980s animated series Voltron: Defender of the Universe, but now we could actually be a step closer to seeing the show’s robotic lions combine on the big screen.

Relativity Media, the studio responsible for recent films like Bridesmaids and The Fighter, announced yesterday that it had optioned the rights for Voltron with the intent to develop a live-action version of the fan-favorite series. The project will be produced by Atlas Entertainment’s Chuck Roven (The Dark Knight) and Richard Suckle (The International), as well as Kickstart Entertainment’s Jason Netter (Wanted). Conan the Barbarian screenwriter Thomas Dean Donnelly and Sahara writer Joshua Oppenheimer will pen the script.

For anyone who might have missed out on the magic of Voltron, the animated series followed the adventures of five pilots who use a set of robotic lions to defend the planet Arus from the forces of King Zarkon. When the threat becomes too great for them to handle individually, the lions combine to form Voltron, a giant robot that wields a flaming sword.

The original animated series was created using recut, red-dubbed footage from the Japanese cartoons Beast King GoLion and Kikou Kantai Dairugger XV, and was a surprise hit in the U.S. during its two-year run.

Nickelodeon kicked off a brand new Voltron Force animated series in June, and the premiere episode remains one of the highest-rated debuts on the network.

Back in March, a bidding war erupted over the rights to the series, with Relativity Media coming forward as the most prominent interested party. That battle for Voltron occurred just six months after several pieces of concept art found their way online, offering a hint of how the necessary visual effects for such a film are being envisioned.

“I know there’s been a lot of rumors and speculation about this movie, so it’s great to finally confirm to all the Voltron fans everywhere that we’re coming for them,” said Suckle in a statement announcing the Voltron movie deal.