If you’ve ever feasted your eyes on the 1987 adaptation of Masters of the Universe that was released by the notorious Cannon Films, you might wonder why anyone (ANYONE!) would want to give a second try for the story based on the well-known Mattel toy line. In that film, Dolph Lundgren played He-Man, the muscle-bound warrior at the center of Masters of Universe, against Frank Langella‘s Skeletor, a skeleton sorcerer that looked more like an aborted papier mache project. And yet, here we are, with Sony looking for directors to helm another live-action take on the toys, with their eyes trained on a possible Transformers-caliber franchise. They may have just found the man for the job as well, as THR is reporting that McG is currently in talks to take the reigns of the adaptation.
It’s worth nothing that the cartoon version of this story was far more entertaining, and more estimable as a production overall, than the Cannon original was. (To paint you a picture, the film featured a small, ugly troll with bright orange hair who was prone to blowing torrents of snot-wax out of his enlarged ears, and no, that’s not a embellishment of any kind.) Though not particularly pretty, the cartoon was at least well designed and competently animated, whereas the original film remains nothing more than a major curiosity for connoisseurs of so-bad-its-good cinema.
That being said, it would be interesting to see how McG would do with a pure fantasy film, as he’s largely stayed with action or comedy in his not-so-storied career. Until he did some directing for the Shadowhunters TV series, the closest the filmmaker came to this kind of subject matter was Terminator Salvation, and even that would more clearly be filed under science fiction. If he has an eye for design, McG might be able to spread his proverbial wings a bit on this one, though it’s safe to say that, considering the history and pedigree of this project, Charlie’s Angels will likely remain the rightful high-water mark for the filmmaker.