As any respectable child of the 1980’s I have a deep and profound affection for Voltron: Defender of the Universe. It wasn’t until I was much older that I learned that the show was heavily reedited from a Japanese anime Beast King GoLion which had a much deeper story line. Voltron was beautifully animated, with a great opening and a general plot which involved five giant lion robots forming an even bigger robot to fight giant monsters. For a 5-year-old kid, it was perfection.
Over the years I was entertained by all of the continuations and sequels, even the lackluster Voltron: The Third Dimension. Right now the franchise is enjoying renewed interest due to the very entertaining and well-received Netflix series, Voltron: Legendary Defender. The franchise is one that has been able to maintain pop culture relevance for over thirty years with a somewhat limited profile.
The good news is that finally Universal Studios is developing a live-action film after a long and winding road through development hell. ScreenRant is reporting that Universal gained the rights to Voltron as part of their purchase of the DreamWorks catalog in 2015 and that this film will not have any connection to the current cartoon. The last time we saw news on this front Pharrell Williams was set to produce the film and write the soundtrack a decade ago.
On paper, a live action Voltron should be easy to get right. It’s hard to imagine that someone could turn an iconic piece of pop culture into a bloated, unrecognizable CGI mess. I wish I had more faith in Hollywood, but have you seen that new MegaZord from the upcoming Power Rangers movie? Please, don’t screw this up.