Voltron Movie Finally Coming Together With a Smaller Budget
by Alex Billington
August 18, 2008
Remember when everyone thought Cloverfield was a Voltron movie? Well back in August last year, Fox announced that they were moving forward with their own Voltron: Defender of the Universe film, putting that Cloverfield rumor to rest. One year and we've finally got an update from Fox - they're dumping the project but Relativity Media has come to the rescue. That production company is still looking to develop the film, but with a more constrained budget that implements cost-effective technology like Zack Snyder used in 300. Apparently part of the problem was that it was troublesome for Fox to originally get the rights, but now it seems like it's ready to go with Justin Marks' screenplay still intact as well.
This update today comes from Variety and announces that Relativity Media will fund the project while Mark Gordon and Jordan Wynn will produce. Relativity will in turn still shop the project around to potential distributors. Justin Marks' version of the story is described as a post-apocalyptic tale set in New York City and Mexico, where five survivors of an alien attack band together and end up piloting the five lion-shaped robots that combine and form the massive sword-wielding Voltron that helps battle Earth's invaders. The producers are still finalizing a director and are expected to make an announcement in the next month. This should be exciting news for Voltron fans, especially considering Marks' script is apparently top notch.
We also missed a recent script review from Josh Tyler of Cinema Blend. Although El Mayimbe of Latino Review reviewed the script last June, calling it his "favorite f**king script of the year so far", Josh only recently got an opportunity to check it out as well. "Justin Marks has written a well put together, well intentioned, incredibly faithful Voltron script using modern sensibilities. But it's still a Voltron script. Even with the recent popularity of giant freakin robots, this movie may be twenty years too late. Or maybe it'll work as a big, post-apocalyptic Escape from New York meets Power Rangers blockbuster." As odd of a reference as that is, it does actually make sense and I hope that's what we get in the end.
For those who missed out on Voltron as a kid, it was a Japanese animated TV series that first debuted in America in 1984. It has a popular fan following just like Transformers even though most of the fans have all grown up and don't watch the show on a regular basis anymore (as far as I know). Personally, I think the concept is a bit goofy, as Josh mentioned in his script review, but with the right effort and right creative team, it could potentially be pretty exciting. I'm just worried that the budget is going to be cut down too much and it'll feel like a much smaller, compact film when it needs to be epic. I really hope Relativity Media knows what they're doing with this franchise! Who is excited for the return of Voltron?!
Reader Feedback - 27 Comments
God, i hope they don't mess this up, well the first trailer/teaser will tell.
andrew on Aug 18, 2008
I'm pretty excited for this. I also hope they do it right.
Spider on Aug 18, 2008
The movie will tell if they messed it up.
Buttons on Aug 18, 2008
I dunno. Voltron can't happen with a small budget. It's a huge friggin robot!! I would understand if they're making a low-budget Spider-Man movie or whatever, since it CAN be done. But Voltron? He needs to be ALL CGI, ALL the time, unless he ends up looking like Megazord.
Alfredo on Aug 18, 2008
man i loved voltron as a kid and i'm excited to see a big screen version, hopefully the budget won't kill the product but using the 300 technology should help in that department! can't wait for a trailer
thejugfather on Aug 18, 2008
Behind Transformers, this was my 2nd fav cartoon growing up - bring on Voltron!!!
Boo-Yah on Aug 18, 2008
Forget this they'll ruin it anyway so why doesn't somebody do an Evangelion movie instead
vegeta on Aug 18, 2008
I had 2 favorite cartoons growing up - Transformers and Voltron. I loved the Transformers movie and I really hope they don't screw this up.
sithdrake on Aug 18, 2008
I'm not. Excited that is.The series were crap as far as I'm concerned.So,since crap+crap(remake)=some ol' bullsh*t,I'd say never mind.
Zerge on Aug 18, 2008
Yea Power Rangers are back hellz yea!!
Curits on Aug 18, 2008
forget voltron and bring back the power rangers to the big screen.
Drake on Aug 19, 2008
Well… When I heard they were bringing Volton to the big screen I was ecstatic, but after reading what leaked out of the Justin Marks script; I’m not so sure. WARNING SPOILER ALERT!! I mean come on - Lance the responsible one, Keith not wanting to lead, and Sven betraying them – that is just fundamentally wrong! Not only that, but if all goes as the scrip is written, I won’t even be able to take my daughter to see because of all the violent death scenes. (I’ll never be able to live that down) I understand the concept of wanting to put the story line into a “modern day context,” but I think Marks just went about it all wrong … for Voltron at least. Who knows, it might be a cool story for another hero. Also, with the budget cut, I don’t think they will be able to pull it off. Voltron is the Defender of the Universe for crying out loud. That is a story that needs to be told on a gigantic scale! So it is with a low heart and a tear in my eye I must say … wait to make this movie until another day.
Heir of Arus on Aug 20, 2008
Oh hells yeah! I'm so gonna see this movie!
Jeep-Fu on Aug 21, 2008
I can't wait until Voltron Comes out, it was my fav. next to Transformers as a kid. I hope they don't F it up
Adam on Aug 31, 2008
It could be done with a smaller budget ,just use animatronics, and a few scenes with a suit.
Adom on Sep 21, 2008
I cant belive the budget is going to be cut down!! It'll feel like a much smaller, compact film when it needs to be epic!!! Think Lord of the Rings, And Transformers! I dont want this to look like some after school lame A** want to be B-Movie. This Movie Needs to be BIG! Bigger then Transformers, with much less lame hummer and silly dumb wrighting like transformers. I grew up on this, I want it to be something I have grown in to as well. Something frking Huge and cool. Think matrix...Forget 300 and the rest of them want to be epic movies, ther all gana be TBS movies of the week if there not carfull with how they do it. I mean REMEMBER Voltron is the Defender of the Universe!!!!!! I would also love to see a ROBOTECH Movie come out as well, that could be Awesome as well if done right!
Anthiny on Sep 24, 2008
Wow! This is the greatest thang to imagine. I always knew a movie will come out for Voltron. I'am so happy, is coming for the Big Screen. I remember in my kid days, I use to jump around at my Moms Sofa, Bed and Floor. When it apper on television w/ my bunny rabbit antenna TV set. I remember when they even had Voltron transfrom with cars. I juss love it, frum the first Espisode to Crazy .. LoL. I always knew in Christmas in 1988. I wuld beg my Mom and Pop. To get me the collection set of Voltron Toy. Is wus the Five Furious Beast w/ each different colors. It also came with weapons inculde the big sword. Whut so amazing, it all made out of steel mental. [talking about being a fan]. To me that wus my greatest gift to me ever. I juss hope they don't make it cheesy like the Power Rangers. No Offense. We have to understand, that Voltron is a classic like Ghost Buster. I know it will do it best for this low bugget. It will be a honor to is best and Producer, Director, Writer and etc. Hope they culd make another movie too which is Thunder Cats, that's also a classic too. Holla bk cast. Good Luck Guys.
Eryk. M on Dec 19, 2008
I'd love to see this movie, but the talk of an el-cheapo budget fills me with dread. Talking from experience, I can pretty much guess how the movie goes: There's an off-screen alien invasion by creatures whom we never get to see. Following this are a group of b-grade actors chewing the scenery for the next 90 minutes in an abandoned gravel mine made up to look like a wasteland. At the very end we see Voltron appear for a grand total of ten minutes tops and fight a lame-looking robeast which you never see most of them time.
kevin on Feb 28, 2009
I would absolutely love if they would bring Voltron back! It was my favorite cartoon as a kid, next to GI JOE. I just hope they don't screw it up. If they come up with a stupid screenplay forget it. I had heard about a script that Allura hires Keith and Hunk somewhere in California. I don't know some ridiculous story like that and if that's the script, count me out! Whoever wants to REALLY know what the viewers want should go to fanfiction.net. These are writers who truly love and appreciate the story for what it is. We want the original idea, the Princess and the Captain, the love story, the action, the evil Lotor with the white long hair and the blue skin. I hope they make that happen. I have to agreen with Kein, if they have an "El-cheapo" budget. Viewers will be totally screwed!
Karla on Apr 19, 2009
Trust me, I'd love to go see this movie, but the buzz that I've been getting about it has been HORRIBLE. When a studio cuts a movie's production budget, it means only one thing: that they don't have a lot of faith in the film and are most likely trying to cut their losses or possibly even release it direct-to-video. I read a review of the proposed script, and in it, the Robeasts are entities unto themselves, with no alien masters (no Zarkon, no Lotor). And the characters spend most of the movie hiding in bombed-out buildings, with Voltron appearing only in the final 15 minutes. I think I'm gonna save my money for Transformers 2....
kevin on Apr 20, 2009
oh this is good news ....voltron is back i grew up on this cartoon ........... this better be done properly ........ All the best .......Go voltron force!!!!!!!!
aasim on Jul 7, 2009
I am down for the Voltron movie it was a great cartoon. Fox was retarded to turn it down now with a lower budget it is going to do nothing but mess the movie up. what if Transformers was done with a lower budget it would have been horrible. Fox must think Voltron is to much of a gamble evidently they dont realize how many fans Voltron has. The remark a couple of comments before this one saying that voltron dont appear until the last fifteen minutes well if you remember when Voltron first came out as a cartoon you didnt see Voltron till the last five minutes of the second episode or third episode. But if they follow the 80 cartoon dont plan on seeing the full voltron untill the end, but then there better be a sequal. Those bastards better have Zarkon and Hagar in it though.
Chris Kindermann on Aug 10, 2009
it's cool if they can do it right, but I suggest they should do it as a live action mini-series in TV like the star trek.
topak on Aug 19, 2009
The most recent news that I've heard is that Toei Animation, the owners of the Voltron license, are asking a LOT for the rights to do Voltron. Apparently they watched what Hollywood did to Godzilla, Speed Racer, and Dragonball and they're not too eager to give Hollywood more classics to make into low-cost roadkill. If this is true and Fox is forced to pony up a ton of money it will negate the whole purpose of slashing the budget.
kevin on Aug 20, 2009
Prince Lotor's obsession with Princess Allura and troubled relationship with his father, King Zarkon, was the best part of the Voltron cartoon series. Who can endure a Voltron movie without Lotor?
Hello on Sep 9, 2009
Speaking of Transformers in relation to this, I didnt see any mention of the fact that Peter Cullen (Optimus Prime) was the voiceover for the intro credits for the Voltron cartoon and also played the butler to the princess. It would be neat if they got him in the production of this film. He also does the voice of Eeyore in the Pooh bear cartoons. Anyhoozle, i am leery of how this film will turn out but optimistic as well. Remember all the shit talkin there was online about Transformers before it came out? And the first one turned out completely badass!!! (The second one did not live up to the first.) They changed quite a bit in that and it still turned out great!!! Also remember this - Voltron was a ripoff of the power rangers, not the other way around. Power Rangers came out in Japan way before Voltron did. Five colored robots that form one bigass robot and the pilot's uniforms matched their robots, An evil tyrant from outer space would shoot creatures down to Earth which would gigantisize to Godzilla stature, etc. Movies can be made on the cheap and still be badass. Look at Sin City. Amazing film with amazing actors and effects done without the massive budget. All in all, lets give it a chance when it does come out. THEN you can start the shit talking if need be.
Mike420 on Sep 26, 2009
I loved Sin City as well, but I'm not sure that it was a financial success, even with a reduced budget. People DID talk crap about the first Transformers, but that succeeded because there was a significant budget in order to make it look so believeable. In terms of special effects, you do get what you pay for. Too skimpy on the money and you get something which looks like it came off the SyFy channel. And the critics especially will notice any obvious cost-cutting. Remember all those awful later Star Trek series where everything happened offscreen after having the anticipation factor so built up? Or where the characters said that there were six ships present but the viewers would only see one? Peter Cullen would be great too, and I am soooo hoping to see Lotor and Zarkon. However, the trend among filmmakers today as regards aliens is the distant, mysterious, and unseen, as opposed to the visible and present, so I am more than a bit worried there.
kevin on Sep 27, 2009
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