Since at least the box office success of Michael Bay’s first Transformers, the concept of adapting the “Voltron” anime-ted (specifically, nerd alert, the Lion Force) series into a feature film has been percolating around Hollywood. So, naturally, the same week of a Captain Planet project coming to light, and the start of Comic-Con 2011, there is also word of a brand new team joining together to make a Voltron movie actually happen. Relativity Media has hired the writers of Sahara and the forthcoming Conan the Barbarian to write a script for a product they want for a future summer blockbuster season.
Whether this movie actually comes to pass or not, I thought, as I did with the Captain Planet announcement, to mark the occasion by again doing the casting directors’ job for them. Unfortunately, I exhausted most of my options for twenty-something talent in that post, so instead of the five/six human characters, I opted to cast the five lion vehicles with appropriate lion performers with a Hollywood pedigree. Join me on the casting cough, won’t you? (I hope not to offend anybody this time.)
Aslan (The Narnia film series) as
The Black Lion (Head/Torso)
Aslan has already proven he can convincingly lead an army of men and various furry creatures into battle, so leading the other four Voltron Lion Force lions, as well as functioning as the mind and heart of Voltron itself, is as easy as returning from the dead without becoming a zombie.
The Ghost (The Ghost and The Darkness) as
The Red Lion (Right Arm)
The Ghost (never, ever just “Ghost” — trust me on this) has a reputation of being a bit reckless and cocksure, what with The Darkness outliving him and all, so he’s a natural fit for Voltron’s action-ready, dominant hand. After all, you want your best badass wielding the sword.
That Darn Cat (That Darn Cat) as
The Green Lion (Left Arm)
Fair enough, this little guy obviously isn’t a lion, much less being a fierce warrior, but you’d be a fool to underestimate That Darn Cat. Similarly, Green has always been the brains of the operation, the clever one, if you will. It’s a purrrrrrfect fit*,
Nala (The Lion King) as
The Blue Lion (Right Leg)
Why not Simba, you may be asking? Because fuck Simba. He got to frolic in paradise while Nala had to endure the hardship of growing up under the Mad King Scar. She might be sweet, loving and devoted to her family, but she’s a stone cold killer, purr— precisely for what the noble but dangerous Blue Lion calls.
Leo the Lion (MGM logo/mascot 1957-Present) as
The Yellow Lion (Left Leg)
Leo has been doing his thing, roaring a movie to life just as the lights go down in probably every cinema in the country, and countless more in the world, for over fifty years. You want a stalwart sentinel like that for Yellow, the workhorse lion leg.
As for the big guy himself, I’m sure Voltron will mostly be CGI, and as such, you don’t want some amateur getting its first pixels — too many childhoods are at stake — you want the Clint Eastwood of computer animated robots. You want…
Optimus Prime (Transformers/: Revenge of the Fallen/: Dark of the Moon) as
(Image from JPRart)
I know. I know. It’s the obvious choice. But, Occam’s Razor and everything, sometimes you just have to do what’s right, no matter how easy it is. Like being an organ donor. Optimus Prime has been kicking evil CGI monster butt for five years now, and that’s just in “live action” movies. He also has an extensive CV in both television and video games, making OP the total package for cross-platform promotion. Plus, he sounds like Peter Cullen, and you never pass up that opportunity. Even Michael Bay knows that.**
* No, yeah, you’re right. That was wrong of me. I am terribly sorry.
** Yeah, yeah. Voltron doesn’t speak, but if he did…
Rob Payne also writes the independent comic The Unstoppable Force, co-hosts the internet radio show We’re Not Fanboys, and uses the Twitter poorly @RobOfWar. In all honesty, I’d probably pay to watch a Voltron flick even if Uwe Boll directed it. Okay, probably not Uwe Boll, but Stephen Sommers? Eh, sure.