During this year’s Comic-Con International in San Diego, fans formed the legs, arms and head during a panel dedicated to “Voltron” cartoons, toys, comic books and the upcoming live action movie. The panel was moderated by “Voltron Force” writer/producer Jeremy Corray who began the show with a video of references to “Voltron” throughout television, film and the Internet. After the laughter from the video died down, Corray introduced fan film “Voltron: The End” director Alex Albrecht to talk about production of the film along with “The End” star and “Psych” actor Timothy Omundson.
The short film was a labor of love, according to Omundson. No one received any kind of payment for the work including the actor, who knew very little about the series until recently.”I just missed ‘Voltron’ by a couple of year and [Alex Albrecht] got me up to speed,” said Omundson. When asked if he would be willing to do more live-action shorts Omundson said yes, which was met with cheers and applause from the audience.
Screenwriters Thomas Donnely and Joshua Oppenheimer then stepped onto the panel to discuss the upcoming feature length “Voltron” film with fans. “It was an opportunity we couldn’t pass up,” Oppenheimer said of the upcoming live-action adaptation. The film is produced by Atlas Entertainment and Kickstart Entertainment and developed by Relativity Media. Donnely and Oppenheimer knew immediately they wanted to work on the film.
“We are huge fans of Voltron. When it first came on the air we were kids and we remember what it was like when you go from thinking all cartoons are ‘Scooby-Doo’ and then suddenly ‘Voltron’ comes on the air,” said Donnely. “It just blew our minds. What we can promise you is that were are going to be faithful to the legacy of Voltron, to the characters, to the story lines — to those amazing-huge robots. All we’re going to do is bring it into what movie audiences expect in 2012. A big, huge and beautiful story.”
The panel also discussed Voltron’s origins in animation and its present state. “Voltron” fan and runner of Topless Robot head Rob Bricken joined the discussion to shed some light on Nickelodeon’s “Voltron Force” and Voltron in general. “[‘Voltron Force’] does so much right. It’s gotten every little crazy thing I had in my imagination as a kid in ‘Voltron Force,'” said Bricken, who had low expectations for the series.
Along with the animated series, Viz Kids senior editor Traci Todd and “Voltron” artist Jacob Chabot discussed the series of graphic novels and their intent to create something original that pays homage to the ’80s series as well as the current show. Fans were shown a preview of upcoming volumes in Viz’s “Voltron Force” series aimed at younger readers.
Brandon Thomas, the writer of Dynamite Entertainment’s “Voltron” and “Voltron Year One,” spoke to the audience about his life-long enjoyment of the original series. “The original cartoon came out when I was really really young so, this is kind of like the high schooler version of ‘Voltron,'” he said.
While discussion of current properties took up the bulk of the panel, Corray and Mattel’s Scott Neitlich also gave con-goers a throwback to the ’80s as they projected images of pristine die-cast “Voltron” figures and other vintage toys with sneak peaks of upcoming figures such as Sven in the Blue Lion. Fans were even encouraged to show off their knowledge of the “Voltron” franchise as Corray gave the audience multiple chances to win prizes by answering “Voltron” trivia.
As the panel drew to a close and the final prize was given away, the crowd clapped, cheered, chanted and created a blazing sword of sound by ending the show with a group chant of “Let’s go Voltron Force!”