Jon Chu Talks MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE Remake, Plus an Update on G.I. JOE: RETALIATION

     October 17, 2012


We recently reported that director Jon Chu (Step Up 2: The Streets) was in talks to helm the Masters of the Universe reboot; now the director is talking about the film at length.  Written by Richard Wenk (The Expendables 2), the story follows the path of Prince Adam of Eternia who becomes the powerful He-Man with the assistance of a magic sword.  The protagonist uses this power to defeat the evil of Skeletor and his minions.  The property, previously adapted by Gary Goddard in 1987, is based off of a Mattel toy line of the 80s.  Chu talked about his reaction to the script, his appreciation of the toys, his enthusiasm for the property and even his status on finalizing G.I. Joe: Retaliation.  Hit the jump to see what he had to say. 

jon-chu-g-i-joe-retaliationThanks to an interview with Celebuzz, we now have an update on two Chu properties.  When asked about how he got involved with the MotU picture, Chu responded as follows:

I was approached about doing a Masters of the Universe movie and while at first I was skeptical, I read the script and I was blown away. I had no idea what to expect but it was such a fresh, UNEXPECTED approach I was immediately intrigued. I never expected to connect on a human level to a MOTU movie but I really plugged in emotionally. That alone, got me excited to see what we could do with the property.

MOTU is such a challenging puzzle to make into a movie that works to a contemporary audience but the script seemed to really crack it for me. I think people are really going to be surprised at the rich story we have the opportunity to tell in this world. Where you think MOTU goes left, the script goes right and it was just very clear to me this was something very special.

It was never a conscious decision to do another “toy” movie but when I read this I couldn’t put it down. And I definitely couldn’t let anyone else make it but myself :) It was just too much fun.

So is this just another paycheck for Chu or does he have some emotional stock in the property?

I LOVED the toys growing up. I had Grayskull, I had BattleCat/Cringer, I had Stratos and Orko and obviously He-Man and Skeletor. I also watched the cartoon a lot growing up. This is my era, so going to Mattel to visit their headquarters was like walking into a childhood fantasy. They had a lifesized He-Man in the lobby as well as a glass case with EVERY SINGLE MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE action figure on display. It brought me back to my youth and I knew I had to be a part of getting this movie together. For every MOTU fan out there, it felt like it was time and I wanted to make sure to protect it in the process.

masters-of-the-universe-posterSounds good so far.  Chu goes on to talk about cracking the story and comments on how much influence the 1987 feature had on his perspective:

I feel like there’s a lot of room to crack open the Masters of the Universe story. We are still in our process and I think we have some great seeds planted but making one of these types of movies RIGHT takes a lot of TONAL tightroping so we’re just going to play for the next several months. Play with designs, play with the characters, try new things, maybe go too far on some things and pull back. The process is really important to find where the right line is so we can land right on it. I think that’s what can dig out the properties full potential for a cinematic rebirth.

I don’t really think about the 80s movie when looking at this movie because the script here is so strong and so unique. I think the characters are so grounded and layered I never expected that in a Masters movie so to me it’s on a totally different level. Don’t get me wrong, I love the 80s movie for full nostalgic reasons but this script feels like it’s a totally different genre than that one.

Finally, Chu gives an update on the G.I. Joe: Retaliation picture, which takes precedence:

I can’t say exactly, but my first priority right now is still G.I. Joe: Retaliation.  We are finishing the dimensionalizing of the film and I want the audience to be blown away by the 3D work we do in it so that takes a lot of my time and energy currently. It’s a lot of technical and creative stuff put together which I love. I can’t wait for people to see what we’ve done, finally!

The question remains as to whether this remake will be more Cringer or Battle-Cat.



    Can not wait! He-Man was awesome when i was a kid, (I even loved the movie, and Skeletor in that was fantastic.)
    my wishlist…

    Castle greyskull and snake mountain to be in it.
    TOM SELLICK was born to play Man-At-Arms
    He-Man does the sword sparkly power up thing (though maybe lose Prince Adam and cringer)
    Skeletor, Beastman, Trap-Jaw, Merman, Stratos, Ram-Man, Mekaneck, Manyfaces, Scorceress, Orco, whiplash, the snake men, maybe even She Ra?

    Also those various vehicles too.

    Main thing though, keep it all on Eternia. None of this coming to earth bs.
    shame Chris Hemsworth is booked up as Thor, not sure who else would make a good He-Man?

  • TheHOYT

    Just bought MOTU ’87 on Blu-ray, what a great nostalgic trip. I think the movie gets a bad rap, it had a crap budget. That’s why they had to come to Earth in the film, the set pieces necessary to bring Eternia to life needed more funding than could be afforded. Still, I thought the costumes were great. Not quite like the cartoon or toys, but I though they worked really well. It’s just too bad that the world they inhabited couldn’t match the costume or make-up work. I still felt bad when Surod was killed by Skeletor, he was bad-ass.

    I would love a 300 (though, not as stylized) mixed with Batman Begins vibe for this new film, a more expanded vision of how Prince Adam becomes He-man. I keep imagining a bad-ass CGI Trap-Jaw in my mind, a la Terminator Salvation robots, but with a personality.

  • BPSwanky

    Bring back Frank Langella as Skeletor, or at least get someone as cool. He was my favorite part from the 80′s film. His grandiose monologs were awesome, and really set the tone for the whole movie. Whenever things go to campy, Frank would pull it back to center. Goes to show that good actors can do a lot with even the cheesiest dialogue.

  • ScaredForMovies

    I’ll wait to see what he does with the GI Joe sequel before I get excited. At least he seems to be a fan. I’ve always thought Masters of the Universe franchise had great potential.

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  • He-Man

    Its time for a better one. The CGI are ready to use. Espacially for Skeleton AND Orko. Another Movie without him will be bullshit. And i Think, don`t get back to earth with these characters, you have the possibility to show the universe, the planets out there. It`s Master of the Universe not Masters of Milkyway.

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