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Live-action 'Voltron' movie from 'Red Notice' director sparks Hollywood bidding war

For the first time in franchise history, Voltron might finally be headed for live-action.

By Matthew Jackson
Voltron: Defender of The Universe YT

A live-action Voltron movie might finally be on the horizon thanks to Red Notice writer and director Rawson Marshall Thurber. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Thurber is at the forefront of a package for a new Voltron film that's going around to various studios right now, and has sparked a bidding war that could wrap up this week with a deal for the first live-action incarnation of the popular series. 

Warner Bros., Amazon, and Universal are all reportedly among the "six or seven" studios in the running to win the package, which would be led by Thurber serving as both director and co-writer on a Voltron movie. The film would be co-written by Ellen Shanman (Crave), and produced by Todd Lieberman and David Hoberman (Beauty and the Beast) alongside Bob Koplar of World Event Productions, the company that owns the rights to Voltron

It's not clear at this point where the story for the film would go, but a teaser reel and a pitch for Thurber's story has made the rounds. It's also not clear from THR's report if any particular studio has an upper hand in the bidding process at this point, though interestingly, Voltron: Legendary Defender's streaming home, Netflix, is reportedly not in the running for the film. 

World Events Productions originally launched Voltron in 1984 by re-editing and re-dubbing episodes of the Japanese anime series Beast King GoLion. The story of a group of young mech pilots whose massive lion vehicles merged to form the title robot and save the universe. A second season, using footage from the anime Armored Fleet Dairugger XV, arrived a year later, and was followed by the special Voltron: Fleet of DoomVoltron was an instant hit, remains a favorite among '80s cartoon fans, and has since enjoyed animated several animated revivals, including Voltron: The Third Dimension in 1998, Voltron Force in 2011, and Voltron: Legendary Defender in 2006.

Given its enduring popularity and potential for revival, a live-action Voltron movie has been considered several times, with various developmental dead-ends dating back nearly 20 years. Now, it seems it might finally happen, though it's not clear when. Thurber's got another massive project on his plate right now thanks to the success of Red Notice, which became Netflix's biggest original movie ever upon its release last year. The writer/director is now attached to helm back-to-back sequels for the streamer, which means that if a studio snags this Voltron film, they could be in a race with Netflix to see who can enter production first. 

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