As a child I was fascinated with space and dreamed of adventure out amongst the stars. When I discovered Voltron you can imagine my excitement. It became one of my favorite cartoons. Voltron brought together two of my favorite things, a superhero style team and space adventure.
Voltron Defender of the Universe ran from 1984-1985 and had 124 episodes. He was created by King Alfor from the planet Arus to defend the universe. Voltron was invincible; he was the most powerful defender of Justice in the universe. He fought evil King Zarkon’s robots and created peace in the galaxy. Zarkon had a witch named Haggar. She disguised herself as a beautiful goddess in order to trick Voltron and curse him. Haggar broke Voltron up into 5 parts because she was not able to destroy him completely. Each part was a robot lion and they were hidden away in their dens on Planet Arus. The only way to wake the lions was with the special keys that King Alfor had hidden in his tomb with him when he died.
If I were to write the screenplay, I would begin at the start of the series. A scout team of 5 young men sent by the Galactic Alliance are travelling to Arus. The team is comprised of Keith (the leader), Hunk (the mechanic/muscle), Pidge (the young genius), Lance and Sven. Their ship is shot down and they are captured on the Planet Doom by King Zarkon’s robots. They escape and end up on Arus where they meet Princess Allura, daughter of the late King Alfor and Coran, her royal advisor. The team works together to learn the secrets of Voltron and free the lion robots from their den. With all 5 keys and teamwork they are able to assemble the robot lions into Voltron and fight Zarkon’s lackey, Yurak. Sven ends up getting seriously wounded by Haggar and needs to be sent to a hospital on another planet. To fill the void, Princess Allura takes on piloting Sven’s lion. Voltron is successful in grounding Yurak’s fleet. King Zarkon is about to banish him when his son suggests turning Yurak into a Robeast. These are monster-like creatures Zarkon uses to fight captors in gladiator style fights. Naturally, Robeast Yurak challenges Voltron to battle. This would follow along the first 14 episodes of the series. I would develop the characters personalities more. At this point in the series Keith, Lance and Sven have been pretty much one note characters.
My casting choices:
Richard Madden as Keith. He unites the group and leads them into battle against Yurak and Zarkon. If there’s anyone who can take a leadership role that needs a little revitalizing it’s Richard Madden. Anyone who watches Game of Thrones knows he can say a lot with a glance or a charming smile. He can add the charm and wit that will make Keith a likable leading man.
Kellan Lutz as Hunk. He is the group’s mechanic but don’t let all his muscle fool you, he has the biggest heart in the crew. Often seen wisecracking with Pidge, this muscle man is a real sweetheart. Kellen Lutz was the first actor I could think of and if you reflect on his roles (The Legend of Hercules, Arena, Immortals and Twilight) it seems he was born to play these characters.
Ty Simpkins as Pidge. This was my favorite character as a child. He was young and a genius, I wanted to be him. Ty Simpkins would be great first off because he fits the age range and has the perfect look for Pidge. We know he would be able to act as a genius since he could pronounce dinosaur names like a pro in Jurassic World and could rival the genius of Tony Stark in Iron Man 3.
Jai Courtney as Lance. He’s a great pilot and a bit of a hot-head, that’s pretty much all we have to go on for Lance. Jai Courtney played a similar character in Divergent and could bring more depth to the character.
Anton Yelchin as Sven. The most notable aspect of Sven is his accent. The first actor that came to mind when hearing his accent was Anton Yelchin. After all, he did it so well in Star Trek.
Zoe Saldana as Princess Allura. If there’s anyone who can play the strong female lead and exude grace and femininity, it’s Zoe Saldana. Based on previous roles (Guardians of the Galaxy, Star Trek and Avatar) Princess Allura would be less of a helpless waif and more of a strong, sassy teammate.
Michael Rooker as King Zarkon. A ruthless conqueror that you love to hate immediately conjures up Michael Rooker. His role in Walking Dead is a great example of him perfectly playing that type of character. Not everyone is so good at being so bad.
Meryl Streep as Haggar. She is always on point and plays every type of character you could imagine. For the role of Haggar to come off as not too campy but not too serious she would be my first choice. She’s a great character actress which Into the Woods clearly displays.
Tom Hardy as Yurak. Whether he’s playing the hero like in Mad Max: Fury Road or playing the villain like he did in The Dark Knight Rises one thing is for sure, he will put his all into the character.