Animated Voltron Force Coming in 2011

Variety reports that Nicktoons is developing 26 half-hour episodes of a new animated series titled "Voltron Force," about five space explorers who pilot robotic lions that combine to form Voltron, an invincible guardian sworn to defend the Universe.

Rights holders Wolrd Event Productions and Classic Media are behind the project, which attempts to relaunch the robot that was popular in the 1980s.

The series will remain faithful to the old show, while introducing new recruits to fight alongside the original characters.

WEP and Classic Media will produce the toon with Kickstart Productions ("Wolverine and the X-Men").

Mattel will tie-in with the 25th anniversary to launch toys based on the classic "Voltron" range, as well as action figures and playsets that revolve around an edgier, modernized robot.

WEP and Classic Media had been developing a live action Voltron: Defender of the Universe movie but writers, including Justin Marks, have yet to lock down the right tone, producers said.