Live-action “Voltron” being adapted for big screen

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Voltron, Defender of the Universe,

Voltron, Defender of the Universe,

Relativity Media has optioned the feature film rights for Voltron from World Event Productions, and will adapt the live-action big screen version from the 1984 cult-classic animated series Voltron: Defender of the Universe, the studio’s president of worldwide production, Tucker Tooley, announced Thursday.

The project was brought to Relativity through its deal with Atlas Entertainment’s Charles Roven and Richard Suckle, whose company will shepherd the project.

In Voltron, an elite battle force defends the fate of mankind in the spectacular action adventure. Five young warriors are responsible for the future of the galaxy when they become pilots of a battalion of ultra-high-tech Robot Lions, powerful vessels with the ability to join together to form a fearsome mega-weapon known as “Voltron.”

The original series, based on the Japanese anime properties Beast King GoLion and Kikou Kantai Dairugger XV, aired in the United States for two years and has been described as an “international pop-culture hit” that has garnered a large following over the last 25 years. In recent years, the Voltron property has sold over 300,000 DVDs, established numerous apparel and consumer product deals, and has spawned a highly successful TV series, Voltron Force, which became Nicktoon’s highest-rated debut ever on June 16.

Voltron made its first-ever panel debut Thursday at Comic-Con International in San Diego, a presentation of all-new and classic Voltron content was featured.

The live-action film will be produced by Atlas Entertainment’s Roven (The Dark Knight) and Suckle (The International), along with Kickstart Entertainment’s Jason Netter (Wanted). World Events Productions’ Ted Koplar (Voltron Force) will executive produce. The script is being penned by Thomas Dean Donnelly (Conan the Barbarian) and Joshua Oppenheimer (Sahara).

“For nearly three decades, Voltron has captured the minds of a nostalgically loyal and rabid fan base, and has long been considered a hotly-pursued project. We are beyond excited World Event Productions and Atlas Entertainment have placed their trust and faith in Relativity to bring this coveted property to the big screen, and usher in a new generation of devoted fans,” Tooley said. “With Chuck and Richard’s experience producing tentpoles, they are the perfect producers to bring this potential franchise to theaters,” he added.

“It’s incredibly gratifying to officially announce the development of the live-action Voltron movie this week, given its recent resurgence and the start of Comic-Con,” said Roven, co-founder of Atlas Entertainment.

“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,” added Suckle, a producer at Atlas Entertainment.

Looking ahead, Relativity will release David Ellis’ Shark Night 3D on September 2, followed by Marc Forster’s Machine Gun Preacher on September 23, then Immortals on November 11, starring Henry Cavill, Stephen Dorff, Isabel Lucas, Freida Pinto, Luke Evans and Kellan Lutz with John Hurt and Mickey Rourke.

The studio is in production on its Untitled Snow White Project (in theatres March 16), starring Lily Collins as Snow White, Oscar-winner Julia Roberts as the evil Queen, Armie Hammer as Prince Andrew Alcott, and Nathan Lane as the hapless and bungling servant to the Queen.

Relativity’s expansive 2012 slate also includes Haywire (in theatres January 20), Act of Valor (in theatres February 17), The Raven (in theatres March 9), Untitled Farrelly/Wessler Project (in theatres April 13), House at the End of the Street (in theatres April 20), Safe Haven (in theatres June 1) and Hunter Killer (in theatres December 21, 2012).

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