Masters of the Universe: Jeff Wadlow

Sony and Escape Artists are reviving He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, after the toy and cartoon property spent years in development hell. At one point recently, Jon M. Chu (G.I. Joe Retaliation) was going to direct a script by Terry Rossio (Pirates of the Caribbean, The Lone Ranger). Now Kick-Ass 2 director Jeff Wadlow has been hired to re-write the film, and there is supposition that he could direct as well.   Read More »

Documentaries have the rare ability to make someone who knows nothing about a subject an immediate fan. Who hasn’t wanted to play Donkey Kong after watching The King of Kong or save the environment after seeing An Inconvenient Truth? But sometimes there are documentaries that hit a little closer to home and those can be even more special. Trailers for two in-production documentaries have come to light that focus on very small niches of fandom and, chances are, you’re familiar with one of these subjects, if not both.

There’s My Other Me by Josh Laner which is about cosplay and Toy Masters by Urban Archipelago Films which chronicles the controversial history of He-Man. Watch the trailers and find out where you can learn more these still-in-production films after the jump. Read More »

Under The Influence Art Show: Masters of the Universe - Tom Whalen

Each year Gallery 1988 holds a “Under The Influence” art show. In years past, they’ve done tribute shows to the Beastie Boys and Stan Lee. This year’s honoree is a tribute to He-Man and The Masters of the Universe. Over 100 artists are contributing to the exhibition, each contributing their “unique vision of the wonderfully rich fantasy world of eternia.” Tis includes some of our favorite artists, which we’ve featured on the site in past editions of Cool Stuff. Check out 24 pieces of art from the show, after the jump.

Read More »

Justin Marks Talks He-Man Movie

He-ManToyfare Magazine has an interview in their latest issue with screenwriter Justin Marks concerning his adaptation of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. Marks, who co-wrote the screenplay with Neil Ellice says that they have created “a take that we all really loved and that we felt would be true to Eternia for the first time.” Marks plans to reboot the franchise in the same way that Batman Begins rebooted The Dark Knight.

“There are no invented new characters plopped into it-and if we and Mattel have our way there will never be. We’re talking about the He-Man mythology. So what we’re talking about doing, in the same way as Batman Begins, we’re going back to the original thing, let’s build it from the ground up again. How can we find our way in? How can we jump into Adam’s life at an interesting point where new audiences will respect him? It’s an Adam origin story, and it’s a Skeletor origin story. We want to see where both of them come from and how they got that way. If we don’t see the humanity and the truth in what Skeletor’s trying to do, then the story’s not compelling.”

Marks successfully wades through questions, in an attempt to reassure fans of the series, months after rumors leaked to the internet caused major noise in fanboy circles. It was previously reported that Marks vision was going to stray far from the traditional He-Man mythology. But Marks says that is not the case at all.

“There’s some stuff going around…we should clear that up. There’s some rumor spreading that he’s a soldier in the Iraqi war. Where did they get that? This is an Eternian movie and it’s a story about an Eternian hero. We’re not going to Earth, here. We’re not going to the modern world. We’re not going to a strip mall in the Valley. [Laughs] By the way, I think there are really great things about the original Masters of the Universe.”

“He-Man is sword-and-sandals meets science fiction. If you avoid it and just try to make it sword and sandals, then it becomes a boring movie. If you just try to make it science fiction, it’s going to be really kitschy and weird, and it’s not going to be true to He-Man. You have to make it both. So we have to come up with specific ideas, grounded, that would spawn a world that was people carrying around swords, and yet, guys like Tri-Klops running around with his spinning visor and this sort of nano-technological way about him. What is the sorcery that can create stuff like that?

“When this movie comes out-and hopefully some day it will, because things look really stacked in its favor after Transformers-people will watch this movie and say, “I can’t believe it took this long for a He-Man movie to get to the screen,” because of how naturally the original material suits itself to a great, Lord of the Rings-scale-and yet high-tech-cool movie.”

Marks also revealed that he pitched the movie to Mattel as a trilogy of movies, a potential franchise.

“We got in the room and we basically spoke through not only one movie, but three movies, all the way down through our dreams for the titles for the second and third movies and which characters appeared when.”

Thanks to IESB for the interview transcript

Ruining He-Man and The Masters of the Universe

He-ManGrowing up a child of the 80’s, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe was one of the shows I watched (along with many of the other series which are now pop culture nostalgia items on that VH1 show and in references on Family Guy). So it pains me to learn via our friends at IESB that the big screen adaptation of the cartoon series/action figure line is being handled so poorly.

According to Robert, “the current idea is to make Eternia here on Earth, kind of like a modern day Middle Earth.” He also painfully teases, “if you guys think that this Eternia on Earth stuff is disturbing, you should hear what the plan for Skeletor is!”

We haven’t read Justin Marks (Voltron, Street Fighter, Super-Max) screenplay, so we should probably should give him the benifit of the doubt. But from the information leaked thus far, it seems like they don’t understand why people liked the series. It’s the same thing that happens with most video game adaptations, and it was the same thing that ruined the original live-action Masters of the Universe film. Fans want to see all the creators and characters from their childhood in a new revamped Connan The Barbarian meets Star Wars type storyline. Treat the property with respect and the fans will come. If anyone has the Marks penned He-Man script (if it’s even exists in a script form at this point) please e-mail me.