Columbia’s new Masters of the Universe project is getting a bit of a makeover. While G.I. Joe: Retaliation director Jon M. Chu signed on to direct the live-action redo over a year ago, Heat Vision reports that he is no longer attached to the project. This isn’t an altogether surprising move, given that Chu is currently hard at work prepping G.I. Joe 3 for a likely 2014 production start-date, meaning he won’t be able to tackle another project until 2015 at the earliest. While Chu is gone, Sony is still moving forward with Masters of the Universe; Terry Rossio, the co-writer of the Pirates of the Caribbean films and this year’s The Lone Ranger, has been brought on to pen the screenplay. Hit the jump for more.
By the mid-80s a He-Man movie was inevitable. Boys at this time were living for the He-Man and the Masters of the Universe cartoon and drowning in Mattel’s action figures (myself included). He-Man and the rest of the Eternia posse were in parades, a live show called the “Power Tour”, and every other facet of merchandising you can imagine. After much anticipation, Cannon Film’s Masters of the Universe came out in summer of ’87. Critics laughed it off and children were left a little confused. It’s looked back on by many as a fun and campy film that managed to thrill young fans despite its deviations from the cartoon. It’s the 25th anniversary of the film so Warner Bros. released it on Blu-ray. Hit the jump for my review.
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.
It looks like the all-female version of The Expendables (the one produced by Adi Shankar and written by Dutch Southern) now has some competition: Millenium Films’ The ExpendaBelles, an action picture which recently landed a pair of scribes. Kirsten Smith and Karen McCullah Lutz of Legally Blonde will pen the script for the mercenary movie. The writing duo is responsible for past films like 10 Things I Hate About You, She’s the Man and The House Bunny, so we’ll see if they can up the action in their interpretation. As Deadline reports, The ExpendaBelles should be the first film in an expected franchise. The other as-of-yet untitled all-female version of The Expendables currently has ass-kickers Gina Carano (Haywire) and Katee Sackhoff (Battlestar Galactica) on board. Are there enough action heroines to go around for two of these films?
In related actioner news, Richard Wenk, who co-wrote the screenplay for The Expendables 2, has been tapped to re-write the Masters of the Universe treatment. Hit the jump for more on that story.
This may be the strangest casting article ever written, but here it goes:
Hit the jump to get this sorted out.
Director Jon M. Chu has the power! Well, he will if he decides to helm a live-action Masters of the Universe film for Sony Pictures and Escape Artists. Talks are in the early stages with Chu, who is currently
putting a Band-Aid on the broken leg working on the 3D post conversion of G.I. Joe: Retaliation, which was pushed back nine months to a March 29th, 2013 release. The picture, revolving around He-Man and his on-going battle with the evil Skeletor, was scripted by Alex Litvak (Predators) and Mike Finch (Exclusively Yours). Hit the jump for more on Masters of the Universe.
Escape Artists’s first-look deal with Sony Pictures has been reupped, extending the relationship between the two companies through 2015. Escape Artists has been with Sony since 1998, and produced its first film independently in 2001: A Knight’s Tale. The relationship between Sony and Escape Artists has birthed The Pursuit of Happyness, Seven Pounds, and the remake of The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3. Included in the release is news of Escape Artists’s upcoming slate.
An interesting tidbit included mentions that Denzel Washington is now attached to the feature film adaptation of the 1980s CBS crime series The Equalizer. The project was initially developed for Russell Crowe and director Paul Haggis, but this new report only makes mention of Washington and producer Alex Siskind. Hit the jump to find out what else the upcoming Escape Artist slate includes.
If you’re a toy collector, Comic-Con is heaven. That’s because not only do all the toys companies sell cool exclusives, they also show off tons of upcoming products. With my schedule packed doing interviews, Collider’s Ryan Brookhart spent the past few days taking tons of pictures of the latest collectibles on the Convention floor. Included in his image recap are Voltron, Star Trek, G.I. Joe, Batman, Masters of the Universe, Tron: Legacy, tons of upcoming Hot Toys products (Iron Man, Captain America, Avatar, Indiana Jones), tons of upcoming Sideshow Collectibles products, and a lot more. If you’re into toys/collectibles, you really want to hit the jump.
Unless you’re living under a rock, you’re aware that San Diego Comic Con is about two weeks away. The best part about this geek nirvana is no matter what your poison, comics, art, television, video games, movies, etc., there’s something for everyone. One of the specific niches that Comic Con is best known for is limited edition collectibles. Each year, seemingly every booth creates a batch of merchandise that will only ever be sold for those magical four days in San Diego.
The official Comic Con website recently put up the “full” list of exclusives (we say “full” because things will continue to be added to the list) and it’s pretty huge. So we went through and picked out the ten that we feel Collider readers might find most appealing, or could make for the best investment after July 22-25. Hit the jump for the list as well as tips on purchasing them.
Screenwriters Mike Finch and Alex Litvak, the guys who wrote the upcoming Predators reboot, have been hired to write Columbia’s adaptation of Masters of the Universe. This is Columbia’s first move on the project since they picked it up last fall when–as Heat Vision reports–”Mattel and Warner Bros. parted ways after the sides couldn’t agree on a creative vision.” Mattel has final approval over the story. The 80s animated TV series based on the toyline is about a warrior named He-Man who fights against the evil Skeletor.
The pitch from Finch and Litvak attempts to balance a cinematic approach while respecting the characters. I assume that Justin Marks’ (The Legend of Chun-Li) script followed by Evan Daughtry last May for Warner Bros’ failed to accomplish this task. Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal and Steve Tisch of Escape Artists are still producing.
If you’re unfamiliar with Masters of the Universe, hit the jump for more info about the property.
By the power of Greskull, it looks like Mattel is looking to shop the film rights to the story of Prince Adam and his continual battle to protect Castle Greyskull from the evil forces of Skeletor. The Joel Silver produced reboot of the toy-based franchise has been set up at Warner since 2007. Well now it seems the companies have mutually agreed to let Warner’s rights lapse, after failing to find a common ground on the film’s direction. For those that have lives or good taste in movies and don’t know, the He-Man property has been adapted for live action once before by Cannon films in the 1987 “Masters of the Universe”. The prospect of a new film has been on the table for quite a while now, but this development seems like it might be a bigger obstacle than both Beastman and Triclopse comin’ at ya. For more, raise your magic sword and hit the jump.
I don’t know what screenwriters aspire to. Clearly, it depends on the screenwriter, but I wonder how many lay awake at night and think to him or herself, “I wish I had the chance to re-adapt the cartoon ‘Masters of the Universe’ into a live-action film because I could really capitalize on some goofy nostalgia.” Whether Evan Daugherty had that dream or not is unknown but he will be coming on board to rewrite Justin Marks’* script for “Grayskull” because you don’t want your movie about He-man to sound un-cool with a title like “Masters of the Universe”.
According to The Hollywood Reporter (who act like Daugherty committed the artistic crime of the century by getting this job; he’s not adapting Faulkner, here), Warners sees the big-screen version as a gritty fantasy and re-imagines Prince Adam (He-Man when he calls on the power of Grayskull) as a soldier who sets off to find his destiny, happening upon the magical world of Eternia. There, Skeletor has raised a technological army and is bent on eradicating magic.
I’m sorry. You lost me at “gritty fantasy”. It’s Masters of the Fucking Universe. You can’t just have fun with it? He-Man had a Prince-Valiant haircut and wore furry underwear. Who wants a “gritty fantasy” from that? Who is so emotionally retarded that they need their silly property about a man who cries out “I have the power!” to be deadly serious?
C’mon, Daugherty. Prove the haters (read: me and people who agree with me) wrong and make this film entertaining and not just an attempt to cater to he-men-children.
*Who, as the go-to guy for adapting “Street Fighter”, “Voltron”, and “Shadow of the Colossus”, probably did have that dream