A few days ago, WEP and Classic Media announced that a new Voltron animated television series dubbed ‘Voltron Force’ is in development for Nicktoons to celebrate the original show’s 25th anniversary. This news came less than two weeks after Warner Bros. Animation announced plans to create a new animated version of Thundercats for the Cartoon Network.
These two new animated series share more in common than their roots tracing back to the 1980s and 2011 premiere dates. Both franchises have had live-action adaptations swirling around in development hell for several years. Ideas have been shared and scripts have been written. Concept art has been created. Thus far, neither ambitious project has been handed a green light.
The appearance of new animated series (and corresponding toy lines) could breathe new life into the live-action films. In a longwinded and somewhat cryptic interview with MTV, the producers of the Voltron film project have confirmed it is still alive and should benefit greatly from the presence of the animated series. It is their hope that the animated series serve as a “springboard” into the live action film, assuming the show is successful.
The same argument holds true for the Thundercats film. On the floor of the Licensing Expo this past week, Comic Book Movie was able to question a Warner Bros. rep about the status of the live-action Thundercats movie. “It all depends on how well the [animated] series is received,” the rep responded. “[The studio] is actively working on turning Thundercats into a film, but it’s going to demand a gigantic budget for effects alone. But, yes, it is currently in the pipeline. We’re slowly finding out exactly how marketable the property is as a stand-alone brand. First comes the series, then the movie. As long as it’s well received and worth the risk.” While the answer is vague and you or I could have assumed the same, it’s nice to hear it coming from an official Warner Bros. rep.
If you want a new live-action Thundercats and Voltron movie, be sure to support the animated series next year. Watch the show with your kids. Buy them the toys. The films’ fates are in our hands.