Netflix, Dreamworks' Deal Expands to Includes Voltron Reimagining
posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
Netflix and DreamWorks Animation announced an expansion of their 2013 multi-year deal on Tuesday. The deal now includes new shows from DreamWorks Animation — particularly, a re-imagining of Voltron, and an original series titled Trollhunters from Guillermo del Toro, which Netflix describes as centering on a "fantastical world wrapped around two best friends who make a startling discovery beneath their hometown."
The announcement also states that DreamWorks Animation will develop more original series for Netflix, such as content based on upcoming DreamWorks Animation films, as well as "classic IP." The deal extends the rights of currently streaming DreamWorks Animations original series on Netflix's service, including worldwide streaming and broadcast rights for the series. Some of these series are The Adventures of Puss in Boots, Dinotrux and Dragons: Race to the Edge.
World Events Productions, Ltd. (WEP) and the late Peter O'Keefe adapted the first 1984-1985 Voltron television series from two Toei Animation robot anime: King of Beasts Golion and Armored Fleet Dairugger XV. Both Golion and the first Voltron story centered on young pilots who fight against an empire of alien conquerors — with the help of five mechanized lions that combine to form a robot.
Since the first series, the franchise spawned two television series produced outside Japan: the 3D CG Voltron: The Third Dimension in 1998 and the 2D Voltron Force in 2011. The titular robot also appeared in several commercials, including one for MetLife during Super Bowl XLVI in 2012, and in a crossover comic project with Robotech.
New Regency, a 20th Century Fox-based production company, once negotiated with WEP and the Mark Gordon Company for the live-action Voltron rights in 2007. However, New Regency never actually signed a deal, and other companies were allowed to negotiate for the rights. WEP said in a 2008 lawsuit that New Regency discovered that former Toei character designer Kazuo Nakamura "may possess rights" related to Golion and thus the first Voltron series.
At the time that New Regency dropped the project in 2008, the Variety entertainment news source reported that Relativity Media was negotiating to pick up the project. WEP announced in 2011 that Relativity Media optioned the rights to make a live-action film adaptation with Atlus Productions. The companies have announced no further news on live-action plans.
Thanks to IMissBionix for the news tip