The Masters of the Universe reboot has been stuck in development purgatory for a long time now, but earlier this year, it was announced that Terminator Salvation direction McG was in talks to helm the film, and then again, radio silence… until now. McG spoke with IGN extensively about the upcoming film and offered optimism about the status of it happening.
“It’s a very exciting moment for Masters of the Universe,” the director said. “We have a big meeting with Sony regarding prep of the movie on Wednesday. And we’re in the middle of a bit of a script polish, and it’s my absolute passion. I’m laser-focused on that being my next film. But I mean, you know how it works in contemporary filmmaking. You really, really have to earn the good will of the parent studio, and Tom Rothman runs a tight ship at Sony, and we’re going to get there. I’m so happy to report that to the fans.”
When asked about the tone of his film, compared to the 1987 adaptation of the fan-favorite toyline, McG revealed they’re looking at the Marvel Studios model for their approach, saying:
“I think we want to honor the fan base, first and foremost. We also need to be cognizant of the incredible resonance of what Kevin Feige is doing with Marvel, and the balance of full-bodied entertainment. That it’s both credible and emotional, action-packed, and the story of a hero’s journey. It’s the genesis of He-Man, it’s the becoming of He-Man. We want it to be clicking on all cylinders in that regard. We’re not going to stop until we get it right. Listen, I love that movie with Frank [Langella] and Dolph [Lundgren]. I watch it, and it’s a tremendous pleasure for me to watch. I’m raised on the toys, and I’m down at Mattel all the time. We’re just really focused on getting it right. I want it to be full-bodied entertainment that respects the fan base, and is more emotional than you might imagine, inventive and original. Obviously, we’re all cognizant of what’s going on with Game of Thrones. It’s incredible. We’re cognizant of what’s going on in Guardians of the Galaxy. James Gunn’s doing a great job. We’re going to try to answer the call and take it higher.”
The director also teased that the film is “largely an Eternia story,” in direct opposition of the 1987 film, and also teased a meeting with actor Kellan Lutz about playing the title role, but added that casting has yet to begin.
Originally launched as a popular Mattel toy line in 1982, “Masters of the Universe” spawned several animated series (including the female-driven spinoff cartoon series, “She-Ra: Princess of Power”). Masters of the Universe follows Prince Adam, who has the ability to transform into a warrior called He-Man. As He-Man, Adam becomes the last hope for a magical land called Eternia, ravaged by technology and the evil Skeletor.
The Masters of the Universe movie has gone through a number of writers and directors in the years it’s been in development, with G.I. Joe: Retaliation director Jon M. Chu the initial choice to helm the live-action project. Previously Jeff Wadlow (Kick-Ass 2) had completed his own draft of the screenplay and was reportedly in contention for the directing job. Following Wadlow’s script, Pirates of the Caribbean scribe Terry Rossio wrote a draft with Thor: The Dark World and the upcoming Thor: Ragnarok screenwriter Christopher Yost having a turn afterward.
Masters of the Universe is being produced by Sony and Escape Artists’ Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal and Steve Tisch.