×

‘Voltron’ returning to (video) screens

Games, from THQ, will bow this fall

An adaptation of “Voltron” may not hit the bigscreen anytime soon, but plans are under way to relaunch the popular toon from the 1980s as a franchise through other platforms.

After locking down a toy deal with Mattel and finding a home on Nicktoons for a new animated TV show, World Event Prods., which owns the rights to “Voltron,” and licensing reps Classic Media have brokered an exclusive pact with THQ to produce a series of videogames.

First titles are expected to bow this fall and will build on the adventures from the original TV series “Voltron: Defender of the Universe,” in which five robotic lions, piloted by a space explorers, combine to form the giant sword-wielding robot Voltron.

WEP has been working overtime to reboot “Voltron,” including launching “Voltron Force” as an animated series that bows on Nicktoons and other international broadcasters later this year as 26 half-hour episodes.

Timing of the launch of THQ’s first titles will coincide with the rollout of the TV show.

Mattel will create toys based on the classic animated series and “Voltron Force” in 2012.

A live-action feature film is still being developed, with WEP having recently paired up with Kickstart Prods. and Charles Roven’s Atlas Entertainment to get a tentpole off the ground as toy properties like “Transformers” perform well at the B.O.

But WEP chief Ted Koplar wanted to introduce “Voltron” to a new generation of potential fans sooner and to avoid having the toy line and TV effort languish while waiting for a bigscreen outing to come together.

Launching toys, games and TV properties is the same strategy other pop culture properties like “ThunderCats” and “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” are now embracing as new films are developed. Launch effort is what essentially turned “Transformers,” “G.I. Joe” and “He-Man and the Masters of the Universe” into franchises during the 1980s.

“Voltron” celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2009.

In addition to “Voltron,” St. Louis-based WEP also controls the rights to “Denver the Last Dinosaur,” “Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs” and “Vytor the Starfire Champion,” among others.

Classic Media also handles Casper the Friendly Ghost, Where’s Waldo?, the Lone Ranger, Lassie and such newcomers as “Tinga Tinga Tales.”

Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • Coronavirus Work From Home Placeholder

    Are Virtual Markets Working For Distributors and Buyers Navigating Coronavirus?

    When the film and TV industry emerges from self-isolation to a forever altered landscape, one silver lining will be the online savvy newly gained by traditionally digitally-shy businesses, some of whom have reacted with lightning speed to devise virtual showcases. A drive towards virtual events initially manifested in early March across disrupted festivals such as [...]

  • T-Mobile

    T-Mobile Completes Sprint Takeover, Repeats Vow to Not Raise Prices for 3 Years

    T-Mobile said it officially closed its merger with rival Sprint — creating a wireless carrier with over 100 million customers nationwide — and reiterated its pledge to not increase customers’ fees for the next three years. The deal, worth more than $31 billion based on T-Mobile’s closing stock price Tuesday, ends the nearly two-year effort [...]

  • J.K. Rowling Launches 'Harry Potter at

    J.K. Rowling Launches 'Harry Potter at Home' Digital Hub

    J.K. Rowling has launched “Harry Potter at Home,” a digital hub with a cauldron full of treats to keep young children occupied while they are held captive at home during the coronavirus crisis. The hub, which includes contributions from publishing houses Bloomsbury and Scholastic, has magical craft videos, fun articles, quizzes, puzzles and more for [...]

  • Spotify

    Spotify Renews Global Licensing Deal With Warner Music

    At the stroke of 8 a.m. ET, Spotify and Warner Music announced that they have renewed their global licensing deal. The two companies are believed to have been out of contract for around nine months, although that is not an uncommon situation for streaming services and music companies. “Spotify and Warner Music Group are pleased [...]

  • Tom Hanks - 2020 Census

    Tom Hanks, Selena Gomez, Janelle Monáe and More Promote 2020 Census in New Video (WATCH)

    Amid the nationwide coronavirus pandemic, six celebrities have come together for a PSA to urge Americans to be counted in the 2020 Census. The new video features Tom Hanks, Selena Gomez, Janelle Monáe, Megan Rapinoe, Faith Hill and Liza Koshy explaining the importance of participating in the U.S. Census. It premiered across digital-media company ATTN:’s [...]

  • Cardi B

    Cardi B Was Instagram's Video Queen of the Quarantine in March

    Cardi B is the Instagram viral-video queen the internet apparently needs during the coronavirus pandemic. While Kylie Jenner dominated Instagram in 2019, Cardi B took over in March: Five of the top 10 most-viewed videos on the platform last month came from the outspoken rapper and entertainer, as tracked by Pex, an L.A.-based video and [...]

  • Black AF Netflix

    Everything Coming to Netflix in April

    As everyone continues to self-quarantine and practice social distancing due to the coronavirus pandemic, there’s no better “at-home” activity than catching up on all the new films and shows streaming on Netflix this April. A number of new series are set to premiere on the streaming platform, including “Never Have I Ever,” “#BlackAf,” “OuterBanks,” “The [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content