Voltron: The Live Action TV Series We Never Got to See

One of the producers gives us the inside scoop on how there was nearly a Voltron live action TV series.

DreamWorks’ Voltron Legendary Defender has been a smash hit. The Voltron fanbase exploded in size, a new toyline is on the way, and a second season is set to debut next year. After such a long wait when Voltron Force ended in 2012, it was great to see the series return to TV.

But did you know we were this close to getting a live action Voltron TV series? How did this come about? What would it have been like?

Well it all started with a fan film. Greg Aronowitz, production designer on VOLTRON: The End, gave us the whole story.

“Alex (Albrecht) was honing up his directing chops and we were both Voltron fans and he just wanted to do something that he thought people would be interested in seeing and get to do some directing.”

When the short came out it got quite a bit of attention from the geeky side of the internet. Starring Timothy Omundson (Psych) as Lance, the short gave fans just a taste of what so many had been clamoring for since the 80’s. A live action Voltron. The short was so popular, Aronowitz and the team were contacted by World Events Productions, the owners of Voltron.

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“(We) got into serious negotiations for creating a live action show,” Aronowitz told us. “It didn’t have anything to do with the short, it was just a reimagining of Voltron.”

Aronowitz is well known to genre fans as the executive producer of Power Rangers SPD and has also worked on countless TV and movie projects as a production designer, writer, director, and sculptor of aliens. “I kept saying to everyone, ‘This is my next SPD. I’m going to bring everything I brought to SPD to Voltron.'”

But what would the show have been like? Whenever a property is reimainged, especially in a transition from animation to live action, getting the tone right is essential. “What I miss in modern American television is ’80s television,” he explained. “I grew up with Buck Rogers,Battlestar Galactica, and V. These shows that, I was a little kid, but I’d watch with my dad. It was just fun for everybody, that’s what we really wanted to try. Not childish but no decapitations or things that would freak people out but not pandering. It would have been sophisticated but full on sci-fi.”

While negotations continued, Aronowitz and his team started pre-production work on the series. “We wrote scripts and started building models and there’s some images of some of the lions and stuff floating around on the internet. We were gearing up to full on make the show and talking to a network.”

Just when things seemed to be going well in the summer of 2012, DreamWorks Animation acquired the rights to Voltron, halting production on Aronowitz’s live action series. There hasn’t been any forward movement on the project since then, although Aronowitz still holds out hope the project will be revived. When asked for details on what kinds of stories the live action series would have included, he was tight lipped. “We want to keep that under wraps,” he said. “The hope is that someday it will happen. I don’t wanna do spoilers before it’s even made.”

Aronowitz did mention that some of the stories would need to be changed after he watched Legendary Defender. “Although a lot of the storyline we were working on is kind of in the DreamWorks show, even though it would be different and more dramatic because of the nature of live action. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t other stories but what we were working on was going to blow people’s minds.”

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Even with Voltron Legendary Defender being as beloved as it is, some fans may still be wondering if there’s anything they can do to help bring this live action project back to life. 

“Follow us on Instagram and Twitter,” Aronowtiz advises, “leave comments to perpetuate the rumors that we can one day make this. I swear, that’s the main question you get when you go into the meetings. They’re like, “well how many followers do you have on Instagram?” That’s what matters these days. Follow BarnyardFX, Greg Aronwitz, Alex Albrecht.”

Whether it’s near or far you can always call on Shamus Kelley to bring you obscure knowledge about franchises he loves. Follow him on Twitter!