Columbia Pictures To Become The Masters of the Universe?

He-Man

Earlier this month Warner Bros completely dropped the development of the live action He-Man adaptation Grayskull: The Masters of the Universe, despite Justin Marks’ screenplay gaining big traction from internet buzz and Kung-Fu Panda director John Stevenson signing on to direct. Heatvision is now reporting that the project might not be completely dead after all.

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Kung-Fu Panda Director to Helm He-Man

Rumors of He-Man’s death have been greatly exaggerated. LatinoReview has word that Kung Fu Panda co-director John Stevenson might now be attached to the project after knocking one home in a pitch to¬† Joel Silver’s production company.

Stevenson has an extensive background in art direction and animation, starting out as a character designer on The Muppet Show in the late 1970′s. He worked in visual development on The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth and was a storyboard artist of Shrek and Shrek 2. I loved the action sequences in Kung Fu Panda, but wasn’t a fan of the character design. It will be interesting to see what Stevenson will do with the adaptation. Is Justin Marks screenplay Grayskull still in play?

Grayskull is Dead

You might remember that a few month ago, a review of Justin Marks‘ screenplay for the live action He-Man movie Grayskull: The Masters of the Universe was creating some big buzz on the interwebs.

Phrases were being tossed around like “fanboy masterpiece” and the story was described as “Lord of the Rings meets The Matrix meets Batman Begins.” It was enough to get us excited about the project – we even listed off five reasons the movie could actually be cool. And lets face it, “cool” is not even in the first 50 words that would normally come to mind when thinking about a He-Man movie.

Well Latino Review is now reporting that the project has fallen into development hell, and is likely dead. Warner Bros wasn’t high on the property in the first place (why hire a screenwriter then?), and the two executives who were interested in the property, are now gone. We can only hope that Warners decides to put the project in turnaround.

He-ManEl Mayimbe has a gotten his hands on a copy of Justin Marks’ He-Man screenplay, currently titled Grayskull: The Masters of the Universe. Okay, may-be the title needs a little work, but Mayimbe insists that the screenplay a “fanboy masterpiece!” Here are five things from the script that has gotten us excited to see this movie on the big screen.

1. This is not He-Man for kiddies! It’s written as a hard and edgy PG-13 film tinkering on the edge of an R-Rating. And remember, PG-13 is the new R. You can get away with so much more now-a-days, especially when set in a fantasy environment like Eternia.

2. The story is described as “Lord of the Rings meets The Matrix meets Batman Begins.” An epic battle for Eternia which begins with the origins of He-Man, Skeletor, and the Power Sword. Prince Adam has to “overcome his selfish need for revenge and realize his destiny for the greater good of his people” and “find the Sword of Light” in the hidden Castle Grayskull and “unify his kingdom.”

3. Included are Fan favorite characters Zodack, Mekanek, Man-at-armsS, Teela, Evil-Lyn, Trap-Jaw, Tri-Klops, Beast Man, Battlecat and Panthor. And best yet, Orko is no where in sight!

4. All the corniness of the animated series is completely GONE. There isn’t even a “single beat of comedic relief” in the entire script. Treat the property with realism, what a concept!

5. Grayskull is a geek’s wet dream, “the perfect marriage of Sorcery and Science fiction where in Eternia both Fantasy and Technology co-exist.” The script mixes “high tech, swords, and otherworldly creatures.” Imagine the possibilities!

I never thought I’d say this but I’m excited to see a live-action He-Man movie. It sounds like Justin Marks has done fanboys proud and has crafted a film with franchise possibilities. There is a lot A LOT more, I’ve only given you five little tidbits. Read the full script review over on LatinoReview

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