Netflix, DreamWorks' Voltron Reimagining Clip Shows Shiro, Sendak Fighting
posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
The DreamWorks TV YouTube channel began streaming a clip on Monday for Voltron: Legendary Defender, a reimagining of the 1980s animated Voltron project which will stream exclusively on the Netflix service on June 10.
Executive producer Joaquim Dos Santos, executive producer Lauren Montgomery, and writer Tim Hedrick — all of whom had worked together on Avatar the Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra — announced the cast at their panel at WonderCon in Los Angeles in March:
- Steven Yeun (The Walking Dead) as Keith
- Jeremy Shada (Adventure Time) as Lance
- Bex Taylor-Klaus (Arrow) as Pidge
- Josh Keaton (Green Lantern: The Animated Series) as Shiro (formerly "Sven")
- Tyler Labine (Tucker and Dale vs. Evil) as Hunk
- Kimberly Brooks (Mass Effect) as Princess Allura
- Rhys Darby (Flight of the Conchords) as Coran
- Neil Kaplan (Transformers: Robots in Disguise) as King Zarkon
The character known as Sven in the first Voltron television series was originally named Takashi Shirogane in King of Beasts Golion, the original anime series that was adapted as Voltron.
Studio Mir (The Legend of Korra) is animating the new series.
The serialized story will focus on five teenagers named Keith, Lance, Hunk, Pidge, and Shiro. The heroes must defend Arus from King Zarkon's evil alien force. Unlike most of the characters from the original series, the main characters will have backstories and a purpose for going on the mission. The series will also have a Princess Allura, who Montgomery explained will be more realistic and "certainly not fainting at every little thing that overwhelms her."
Montgomery added that, in the story, "Not everything is solved by Voltron alone. Sometimes they need to beat something just as the lions. Sometimes they just do it as themselves fighting as men." Dos Santos indicated at the Wondercon panel that the Voltron robot will not necessarily appear in all 13 episodes of the first season.
The series is part of an expansion of DreamWorks Animation Television and Netflix's 2013 multi-year deal.
Lion Forge Comics will publish a comic spinoff for the series.
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.
Media Blasters released the first Voltron series with its English dub on DVD from 2006 to 2009, and released the original Japanese Beast King GoLion anime on DVD in 2008.
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