The success of the Transformers movies apparently has everyone digging around in old toy and anime archives to find their own hit giant-robot franchise, and Atlas Entertainment's Charles Roven, Richard Suckle and Steve Alexander have apparently found theirs: Voltron, based on the Japanese anime properties that were later edited as a U.S. TV show in the '80s.
The Hollywood Reporter's Risky Biz blog reports that the producers have acquired the rights to make a live-action movie based on the franchise:
Roven and his partners acquired rights to the Japanese title from World Events Productions, a St. Louis-based company that has held those rights for more than two decades. Wanted producer Jason Netter of Kickstart Entertainment and World Events' Ted Koplar are joining the Atlas trio in producing.
Voltron, a television hit in the 1980s that has retained a loyal fan following, features a Transformers-like conceit, in which a band of five robot lions combines 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 to fight the Voltron robots.
Based on Japanese anime properties Beast King GoLion and Kikou Kantai Dairugger XV, Voltron aired only for two years on U.S. television, in 1984 and 1985, when Japanese pop-culture had not yet penetrated the American mainstream.
World Events acquired rights to distribute the '80s program to U.S. television stations and rebooted it as an animated series in the 1990s, but the franchise has never been adapted as a film.