Via Yahoo! News:
LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) – The producers behind “Get Smart” and “The International” have acquired the rights to make a live-action feature based on the Japanese robot-lion property “Voltron.”
Based on Japanese anime properties Beast King GoLion and Kikou Kantai Dairugger XV, “Voltron” features a “Transformers“-like conceit, in which a band of five robot-lions combine to form one super lion. A group of five pilots control the lions, which are charged with defending the planet Arus from villain King Zarkon, who dispatches evil creatures called Robobeats to fight the Voltron robots.
“Voltron” aired on U.S. television in 1984 and 1985. Since then, the property has remained a favorite in diverse communities, from the fanboy to the hip-hop worlds.
“It’s undeniably impressive that Voltron has sustained itself globally for a quarter of a century,” said Charles Roven, who will produce with his Atlas Entertainment partners Richard Suckle and Steve Alexander.
Atlas acquired the rights from World Events Prods., a St. Louis-based company that distributed the TV adaptation in the United States. The family-owned firm never made a feature from the title but did reboot an animated series in the 1990s. New editions of the comic were also published several years ago by the indie label Devil’s Due.
“Wanted” producer Jason Netter of Kickstart Entertainment and World Events’ Ted Koplar are joining the Atlas trio in producing.
“Voltron” has not yet been set up at a studio. Atlas has a production deal with Sony, which like other studios has been seeking a fresh action tentpole to rival Paramount’s “Transformers” mega-franchise.
The success of “Transformers” has revived interest around Hollywood in similar projects. Warners, for instance, is already moving forward on “Robotech,” another robot-and-alien tale based on a 1980’s television series. (It’s likely that “Voltron” would blend in computer-generated robots with live action in the manner of the Michael Bay hits).
In describing the property, Koplar compared it favorably to “Transformers, saying that “unlike other robotic action movies, ‘Voltron’ is the personification of the human spirit, a quality that will set this movie apart.”
“Voltron” previously spent several years in development with Mark Gordon, the producer of action-drama hits such as “The Patriot” and “Saving Private Ryan.”
(Editing by DeanGoodman at Reuters)