The new HE-MAN AND THE MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE film has been a long time coming but according to The Hollywood Reporter things are finally heating up. Columbia, the studio behind the movie, have hired PREDATORS scribes Mike Finch and Alex Litvak to write a screenplay for the upcoming reboot.
Apparently the two writers pitched a treatment which balanced their cinematic vision to Columbia whilst also keeping toy company Mattel satisfied that they wouldn’t disrespect their property. Not an easy task by any means but it must’ve been convincing enough as they have now managed to secure the gig.
HE-MAN, originally a kid’s cartoon about a superhuman prince and his friends defending Castle Grayskull from the evil Skeletor, has so far had a rocky road the screen. Originally the rights were in the hands of Warner Bros. but creative differences between the studio and Mattel caused them to part ways. Whilst at Warners HE-MAN went through several writers and at one point had John Stevenson, who co-directed KUNG FU PANDA, set to direct.
HE-MAN AND THE MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE is far too early in development for a projected release date but PREDATORS is set for release on the 9th of July.
MTV MovieBlog has an interview with screenwriter Justin Marks, who explains his approach for adapting the HE-MAN afternoon cartoon franchise into a feature film titled GRAYSKULL:
“I grew up on the ‘He-Man’ cartoon and watched ‘He-Man’ six days a week. The notion that I think we most took from the cartoon are the characters, and trying to find a way that is true to them,” he said of his planned adaptation, which is currently in development at Warner Brothers. “Now, at the same time, we had to come up with why that is the way it is. I mean you’re talking about sword-and-sandal meets science fiction meets fantasy meets everything, and how does that all kind of blend into the same world? And so we had to come up with very specific rules that explained why Trapjaw looks the way he looks, and why Cyclops — who is awesome — looks the way he looks.”
Call it the “Batman Begins-ification” of He-Man, the shift of tone that helped make “The Dark Knight” so wildly successful, and is now being copied in varying degrees with reinventions of characters as diverse as Robocop, James Bond, and Red Sonja.
I’m not sure it will work, but it can’t be much worse than the 1987 MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE movie, with Dolph Lungren as He-Man (although at least that had the benefit of Frank Langella as Skeletor).