This past summer, Universal Pictures' parent company NBCUniversal acquired DreamWorks Animation for $3.8 billion, with Universal Pictures inheriting the studio's slate of projects in development. One of these projects was actually a live-action adaptation of Voltron, which was being quietly developed at the studio. Today we have word that the project is in fact moving forward at Universal, with the studio setting X-Men and Watchmen writer David Hayter to write the script.
Deadline reports that Tom Engleman (The Chronicles of Riddick, The Lone Ranger) is set to produce. DreamWorks Animation is also behind the animated series Voltron: Legendary Defender, which debuted on Netflix this summer. It isn't known if there will be any connection between the live-action project and the animated series.
There had previously been a live action project called Voltron: Defender of the Universe, which was being developed by Atlas Entertainment several years ago. Thomas Dean DOnnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer (Conan the Barbarian) had come aboard to write the script, but a director was never attached. Relativity Media picked up the project back in 2011, but it never moved forward into production.
The original Voltron TV series debuted in 1984, based on the Japanese anime properties Beast King GoLion and Kikou Kantai Dairugger XV. The show followed the pilots of five lion robots as they defend the galaxy and planet Arus against the evil forces of King Zarkon and Prince Lotor of planet Doom. The series aired in the United States for two years and has been described as an "international pop-culture hit" that spawned other shows such as 1998's Voltron: The Third Dimension, 2011's Voltron Force and Netflix's Voltron: Legendary Defender. No plot details were given for this Voltron movie quite yet.
David Hayter's writing credits include X-Men, X2: X-Men United, The Scorpion King, Watchmen and Wolves. He has also found success in the voice over world, lending his voice to the iconic video game character Solid Snake in the Metal Gear Solid series. Most recently, he also lent his voice to the iconic King Shark in The CW's hit superhero series The Flash.