Grayskull: Masters of the Universe


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Latinoreview got a copy of the script for the new He-man movie, and gave it an A+. Spoilers at the link.

GRAYSKULL: THE MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE

By Justin Marks, draft date 05/23/08, 112 pages

A+ (A Complete Miracle)

He reformed VOLTRON, put the Green Arrow in SUPERMAX, and now Justin Marks has the power of GRAYSKULL: THE MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE!

El Mayimbe here, hope everyone had a great weekend.

Since I read SUPERMAX (which IESB broke today as now being known as GREEN ARROW) a short while ago, I wondered whatever happened to Justin Marks HE-MAN. The deal was announced in Variety back in May of 2007. Well, last week, actually a year to the day the deal was announced, Justin Marks finally delivered his draft. In the words of Ain't-It-Cool-News Moriarty, Justin Marks is easily “the most gainfully employed professional fanboy on the planet right now.”

I managed to get a hold of the script on Friday and actually cancelled my plans that night in order to read it.

What’s the verdict?

Regardless of the post apocalyptic Earth controversy, I liked what Marks did in Voltron. He then knocked it out the park with Supermax, but folks, I am here to tell both you and MOTU fans – Justin Marks has delivered his fanboy masterpiece!

I absolutely fucking loved GRAYSKULL. THE BEST SCRIPT MARKS HAS WRITTEN YET.

There have been a lot of rumors on the net circling Grayskull’s development process and please trust me when I tell you, DON’T BELIEVE THE HYPE! It’s all bullshit.

GRAYSKULL is LORD OF THE RINGS meets THE MATRIX and a little BATMAN BEGINS thrown in for good measure.

The script takes place in Eternia, not a middle Earth on Earth. It’s a hard and edgy PG-13 tinkering on a R. The script has ZERO CAMP or CHEESINESS. NO FUCKING ORKO EITHER! The writer takes the MOTU mythology very seriously. Whatever made the cartoon corny is not in here at all. In fact, there is not a single beat of comedic relief in the script.

What is GRAYSKULL about? We get both the origin of HE-MAN (or HE-MAN BEGINS), the origin of SKELETOR, and the origin of THE POWER SWORD. If Warners even remotely executes this script like they did 300 they will have a monster hit on their hands because this script leaves it open for a trilogy.

GRAYSKULL is the perfect marriage of Sorcery and Science fiction where in Eternia both Fantasy and Technology co-exist. The character arc of the hero ADAM works for me because like Bruce Wayne in BATMAN BEGINS, Adam has to overcome his selfish need for revenge and realize his destiny for the greater good of his people – the fallen son of Eternia must rise to occasion and become HE-MAN.

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  • 2 months later...
By the power of Grayskull, how the heck do you turn a hero famous for a whimsical cartoon into a credible action hero? You first have to make him real, “Grayskull” screenwriter Justin Marks told MTV News.

“I grew up on the ‘He-Man’ cartoon and watched ‘He-Man’ six days a week. The notion that I think we most took from the cartoon are the characters, and trying to find a way that is true to them,” he said of his planned adaptation, which is currently in development at Warner Brothers. “Now, at the same time, we had to come up with why that is the way it is. I mean you’re talking about sword-and-sandal meets science fiction meets fantasy meets everything, and how does that all kind of blend into the same world? And so we had to come up with very specific rules that explained why Trapjaw looks the way he looks, and why Cyclops — who is awesome — looks the way he looks.”

Call it the “Batman Begins-ification” of He-Man, the shift of tone that helped make “The Dark Knight” so wildly successful, and is now being copied in varying degrees with reinventions of characters as diverse as Robocop, James Bond, and Red Sonja.

It’s an approach Marks is using on “Grayskull,” as well, he said, to help explain some of the sillier aspects to the characters.

“The script is very true to the characters — we’re not talking about putting nipples on the Trapjaw suit. But we had to come up with a reason again why Trapjaw would actually not just be something that’s totally absurd, but why he would need those bionic parts added to him,” Marks insisted. “Which gives a sort of sense of where [the movie] is going in some way.”

Given a realistic base, Marks said he has more latitude in creating He-Man’s world of Eternia — free to create an epic universe unlike “anything we’ve ever seen before on a visual level.”

http://moviesblog.mtv.com/2008/08/14/he-ma...e-trapjaw-suit/

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  • 2 months later...

The project is dead.

The studio gave the execs at Silver Pictures a very small list of A-director names they would consider making the film with, amongst them Doug Liman and Bryan Singer who both passed.

There were some up and coming directors that were gung ho on the script, but the studio wasn't feeling them.

Another reason and perhaps the biggest was that Navid McIIhargey, the exec who brought in He-Man to Silver Pictures, left the company last month to become a Senior VP at New Regency as reported last month in both trades.

Sources tell me Navid and another exec (who also left Silver) – guys in their thirties who grew up on the property - were the unsung heroes of He-Man and are no longer there doing the day to day to get He-Man over the mountain and get the movie made.

http://www.superherohype.com/news/topnews.php?id=7740

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  • 3 months later...
  • 7 months later...
Variety reports that Warner Bros. and Mattel are parting ways on Masters of the Universe, the new live-action adaptation of the Mattel toy line that the studio and producer Joel Silver have been developing since 2007.

The trade says that Mattel and WB didn't see eye to eye over the direction of the project and made a mutual decision to let the option lapse this month.

Mattel will take back the property and set it up elsewhere. The expectation is that director John Stevenson (Kung Fu Panda) will remain with the project, but not Silver, who is exclusive to WB.

http://www.superherohype.com/news.php?id=8671

I heard so many good things about that script. It'd be a shame if it isn't made.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Just weeks after the He-Man and the Masters of the Universe movie left Warner Bros. Pictures, Mattel is finalizing a deal with Columbia Pictures. Escape Artists will produce the project.

Sony and Escape Artists' Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal and Steve Tisch will now start developing the project from scratch. John Stevenson had been attached to direct but is no longer attached.

In the big screen adaptation of the signature Mattel toy line, He-Man is a brawny prince who transforms into a warrior who becomes the last hope for a magical land called Eternia, which is being ravaged by technology and the evil Skeletor.

http://www.superherohype.com/news.php?id=8716

YES! They better use that script though.

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  • 6 months later...
Mike Finch and Alex Litvak, who co-wrote the upcoming Predators, have been hired by Columbia Pictures to write the script for Masters of the Universe.

The "He-Man" adaptation was previously at Warner Bros. Pictures, where it went through several writers and in latter stages had John Stevenson (Kung Fu Panda) attached to direct.

Heat Vision says that Finch and Litvak's pitch "attempted to balance a treatment that would convince the studio it was cinematic and keep the toy company satisfied that its characters were being portrayed appropriately."

http://www.comingsoon.net/news/movienews.php?id=65056

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  • 2 years later...

It's back:

Director Jon M. Chu is in talks to take the helm of Sony's Masters of the Universe, an adaptation of the 1980s Mattel toy line, his reps confirmed to THR. The filmmaker, whose credits include Step Up 2 and Step Up 3D as well as the documentary Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, would take the project on as the follow-up to another adaptation of a toy line, G.I. Joe: Retaliation.

The film would be the second adaptation of the material, after Gary Goddard’s 1987 film starring Dolph Lundgren, which notably flopped at the box office. Sony Pictures and Escape Artists have attempted to launch the project several times based on a script by Alex Litvak and Mike Finch, entitled Grayskull. Escape Artists partners Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal and Steve Tisch are producing.

Although the 1987 film brought the franchise's heroes to Earth, Masters of the Universe takes place on an alternate world called Eternia, where a prince named Adam has a sword that transforms him into the musclebound hero He-Man. The franchise premiered in 1983 with a cartoon series and an action figure line and remains a beloved property for generations of genre fans.

Chu is currently working on Justin Bieber’s concert tour and overseeing the conversion of G.I. Joe: Retaliation into 3D for its release on March 29, 2013. The film was originally scheduled for release in July, but Paramount Pictures pushed back its date.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/gi-joe-masters-universe-justin-bieber-retaliation-355971

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