How about a live-action Voltron movie? It looks like we may be getting one after all.
When NBC Universal announced in April of this year that it had acquired DreamWorks Animation, it brought with it a large library of properties and developing projects under their already massive fold. CEO of NBCUniversal, Steve Burke, said at the time of the announcement; “Jeffrey Katzenberg and the DreamWorks organization have created a dynamic film brand and a deep library of intellectual property. DreamWorks will help us grow our film, television, theme parks and consumer products businesses for years to come. We have enjoyed extraordinary success over the last six years in animation with the emergence of Illumination Entertainment and its brilliant team at Illumination Mac Guff studio. The prospects for our future together are tremendous. We are fortunate to have Illumination founder Chris Meledandri to help guide the growth of the DreamWorks Animation business in the future.”
One of these developing projects and future prospects is a live action Voltron movie. The project initially began by Jeffrey Katzenberg when he was head of DreamWorks Animation. What’s more, scripting for this movie is apparently being done by none other than David Hayter. Hayter’s credits include X-Men, Watchmen, X2. He was also supposed to have a Black Widow movie through Marvel. Hayter also has numerous voice acting credits for games such as Star Wars, Super Smash Bros. Marvel Heroes and Metal Gear Solid.
As far back as the late 1980’s Hayter was working on anime projects like Gundam, Jaianto Robo, Yu Yu Hakusho and, later, Fushigi Yugi. It is because of this experience and understanding of the manga and anime genre that David Hayter is a good fit to helm a project such as Voltron, which is essentially an edited concept mash-up of two mecha anime shows: Beast King GoLion and Dairugger XV / Armored Fleet Dairugger XV. He gets it. But just how true to these roots he will go remains to be seen.
DreamWorks itself is no stranger to the genre either. DreamWorks Animation premiered, in June of his year, a brand new show called Voltron: Legendary Defender on Netflix as part of a multi-year partnership deal between the two companies.
One thing to watch closely, which will tie in to the successful completion of this project as well as a potential foreshadowing of its success when it goes the screen is how well the upcoming Power Rangers movie does as well we need to keep a close eye on the Pacific Rim sequel (Pacific Rim: Maelstrom). Both of these are mecha anime at their heart and source. They fight Kaiju and use MegaZords whereas Voltron is constantly battling it out with something similar, Robeasts.
While Power Rangers is being produced by Lions Gate Entertainment, Pacific Rim: Maelstrom is being produced by Universal, the same company responsible for this Voltron movie. Will they want 2 mecha movies on their slate? A major factor in that decision comes to the financials and their projected return on investment.
On a $190 million dollar budget, Pacific Rim battled both the Kaiju and the Box Office to earnings just over $400 million dollars in 2013 and retains at 70+% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Will these numbers be good enough for Universal to invest in not only a sequel but also he start of a potentially new franchise in the very same genre? We shall see.
Additional details such as casting, budget, plot and release date have yet to be revealed. Stay tuned to comicbooked.com as we get further information.
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About DreamWorks Animation
DreamWorks Animation (Nasdaq: DWA) is a global family entertainment company with business interests that span feature film and television production; licensing and consumer products; location-based entertainment; and new media properties, including the Company’s controlling interest in AwesomenessTV. The Company’s feature film heritage includes many of the world’s most-beloved characters and franchises, including Shrek, Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda and How to Train Your Dragon, while its 32 feature film releases have amassed more than $13 billion in global box office receipts. DWA’s television business has quickly become one of the world’s leading suppliers of high-quality family programming, reaching consumers on linear and on-demand platforms in more than 130 countries and winning a total of 25 Emmy™ Awards to date. The Company’s deep portfolio of intellectual property is supported by a robust, worldwide consumer products practice, which includes licensing, and location-based entertainment venues around the world. The Company is also the majority owner of AwesomenessTV, a leading video destination for Generation Z and Millennial audiences, and also owns 45% of Oriental DreamWorks, a world-class animation studio in China that produces family entertainment for both Chinese and global audiences.