Of all the major tentpoles to receive the greenlight in recent years, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe is one of the few that continues to languish on the fringes of development. Writers and directors have come and gone, and this frequent chopping and changing has resulted in a project that is promising, yes, but also disappointingly stagnant.
That all changed back in January when Sony appointed McG (Terminator: Salvation, Charlie’s Angels) at the helm of the adaptation and since then, excitement has started to swirl, with Twilight star Kellan Lutz even campaigning for a role among the Masters of the Universe.
For the time being, though, putting the final touches to the script remains a priority, according to McG, who outlined the movie’s tone ahead of a “big meeting with Sony regarding prep” that’s due to take place on Wednesday.
First up, the filmmaker acknowledged Lutz’s interest:
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.
Honoring a fanbase that was formed in the early ’80s is something McG believes to be of paramount importance, as he proceeded to name-drop just about every successful movie and TV property that has muscled its way into popular culture of late.
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 Guardians of the Galaxy. James Gunn’s doing a great job. We’re going to try to answer the call and take it higher. How’s that sound?
Can Masters of the Universe follow suit? McG certainly believes so – in closing, the director then pointed to Suicide Squad as a potential creative influence.
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?