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HE-MAN AND THE MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE: Director McG Gives Updates On Long-Gestating Project

There is no shortage of remakes, reboots, and re-imaginings in Hollywood. I’d hold it against them, but the simple fact is that it’s a heck of a lot easier to advertise an existing property than it is to build a fanbase for one from the ground up. One of the many long-gestating projects out there in Tinseltown is HE-MAN AND THE MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE, a film that not a lot of people have been asking for, but the studios seem to insist people want.

Editorializations aside, we finally have some news on the film, which seems to have been largely dormant ever since McG first signed on as director earlier this month (with the exception of a random tweet from actor Kellan Lutz expressing his interest in the film). Following the TV Critics Association, IGN caught up with the director and received a good number of updates regarding the picture.

“It’s a very exciting moment for Masters of the Universe. We have a big meeting with Sony regarding prep of the movie on Wednesday. And we’re in the middle of a bit of a script polish, and it’s my absolute passion. I’m laser-focused on that being my next film. But I mean, you know how it works in contemporary filmmaking. You really, really have to earn the good will of the parent studio, and Tom Rothman runs a tight ship at Sony, and we’re going to get there. I’m so happy to report that to the fans.”

As of this point, they haven’t cast the role of He-Man, but earlier this year, actor Kellan Lutz seemed to imply that he was up to play the character:

“We haven’t cast the role yet, but I like Kellan very much. Obviously, we need a talented entertainer, but we also need a certain physicality, which he embodies. He’ll be considered very, very closely. We haven’t gotten to the casting process yet. Kellan’s a good guy, and we had a great meeting, and he’s passionate about He-Man, he’s passionate about the Adam story. He really knows a lot about it. I was charmed by his focus and intensity. He’ll be considered very, very carefully. We’re just not there yet. We’ve got to get the movie on its feet, then we’ll cast the movie.”

Could Kellan Lutz pull off a believable He-Man?

Could Kellan Lutz pull off a believable He-Man?

While HE-MAN does have its fans, there is no denying that it’s a difficult property to taker seriously at times. With it cheesy tone, overly-machismo style, and crappy animation, it’s more of a guilty pleasure for fans than a genuine one. How would this film strike the balance? Would it pay homage to the cheesy aspects, or would it do something else?

“I think we want to honor the fan base, first and foremost. We also need to be cognizant of the incredible resonance of what Kevin Feige is doing with Marvel, and the balance of full-bodied entertainment. That it’s both credible and emotional, action-packed, and the story of a hero’s journey. It’s the genesis of He-Man, it’s the becoming of He-Man. We want it to be clicking on all cylinders in that regard. We’re not going to stop until we get it right. Listen, I love that movie with Frank [Langella] and Dolph [Lundgren]. I watch it, and it’s a tremendous pleasure for me to watch. I’m raised on the toys, and I’m down at Mattel all the time. We’re just really focused on getting it right. I want it to be full-bodied entertainment that respects the fan base, and is more emotional than you might imagine, inventive and original. Obviously, we’re all cognizant of what’s going on with GAME OF THRONES. It’s incredible. We’re cognizant of what’s going on in GAME OF THRONES. James Gunn’s doing a great job. We’re going to try to answer the call and take it higher.”

In essence, it sounds like McG is at least going in with the right mindset — trying his best to make sure that the story and film are all in service of He-Man’s journey. It’s good in theory, but it’ll be tough to pull off. It’s easy enough to quote Marvel, but to actual follow through on execution? Different story.

Somehow Marvel has managed to perfect the formula for balancing the goofy and serious aspects of their stories. Could McG learn from them and incorporate it into HE-MAN?

Somehow Marvel has managed to perfect the formula for balancing the goofy and serious aspects of their stories. Could McG learn from them and incorporate it into HE-MAN?

McG then talked about “answering the call” with Evil-Lyn when asked what iconic HE-MAN characters may not show up in the film. In all honesty, I’m not sure if what he says next means they can’t do it, or if he feels compelled to, but you can take those words and interpret them as you see fit:

“I’ve got to answer the call with Evil-Lyn, that’s for sure. Because I think what Margot Robbie just got up to with that turn [in SUICIDE SQUAD] is really, really interesting, and I want to make sure I answer the call. I even think Cara [Delevingne] did a good job in SUICIDE SQUAD with Enchantress. I want to make sure our Evil-Lyn is the standard bearer. That’s a tall order, isn’t it?”

IGN asked McG if he looked to Marvel for inspiration on balancing the humor and style. McG’s answer was modest.:

“I will never be so bold as to say I’d be that successful, but I’m certainly going to try. Look, I’m a child of James Cameron, I think we did a lot right with that Terminator film. We certainly did a few things wrong, but living in that shadow was difficult. I think with Masters of the Universe we have some opportunity for some authorship, and I think that’s going to be a very exciting component in the film.”

Finally, when asked whether or not they’d shoot to hire a big actor to play Skeleton should Skeleton be in the film. Is it important to play to character or find a recognizable actor?

“As Skeletor? I think the characters are bigger than any given actor. I think the right actor is going to be what’s most important. I’m not really hung up on, ‘Oh, it’s got to be a star.’ I just want someone who’s right for it. I enjoy working with big movie stars. I enjoy working with discoveries. We’re going to do what’s right, so it embodies the energy. Skeletor needs to be an incredible menace. I really think — again — I mean it when I say Vader, Gruber, Skeleton.”

Do McG’s comments get you any more excited to see a HE-MAN AND THE MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE film? Let us know your thoughts in the comments down below!

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