Director and hater of vowels McG was handed the keys to Castle Greyskull earlier this year, having been entrusted with filming a new version of Masters Of The Universe for the big screen. And while we recently learned Kellan Lutz was in talks about possibly wearing the loincloth (likely because someone saw him in that other Hercules movie and thought, “Well, I can end my search for someone to play a one-dimensional cartoon character”), as we near the end of summer, an update would be appreciated. After all, it’s only natural fans of the series might wake in the morning, step outside, take a deep breath, get real high, and say, ”Hey—what’s goin’ on, McG?”
Happily, McG has heard your cries, and is more than happy to tell you what’s up with his effort to turn a cartoon invented to sell toys (and hasn’t had a new iteration on TV in more than a decade) into a blockbuster movie. In a new interview with IGN, McG assured fans he would honor the spirit of the original, while also honoring the spirit of other things you like, because, hey, maybe some of that quality will rub off on his movie through transitive property.
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?
It sounds like someone who got through high school by name-dropping the cool kids as his “close personal friends,” but that’s neither here nor there. Trying to hype your project by saying it’s going to be better than other things people love is an understandable method of dealing with fan expectations. (Though again, most die-hard fans have probably aged out of the 18-34 demo, not that it’s ever stopped studio execs—or McG—before.) But McG also makes it sound like it’s going to be a He-Man origin story, which—takes deep breath, sighs, looks up from computer—fine, sure.
He makes a few more comments as well. Unbidden, he asserts the centrality of Skeletor to the story (“By the way, to me: Vader, Gruber, Skeletor. That’s how powerful the antagonist is to me”), says it will largely take place on Eternia, not earth, and then spends some time talking about Evil-Lyn, a.k.a. the moment when the Mattel employee in charge of naming decided to throw in the towel and call it an early weekend.
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.
Aside from the damning with faint praise of Cara Delevingne (which seems fair—our own Ignatiy Vishnavetsky referred to her as “model-turned-sort-of-actor” in his review of Suicide Squad), this is all stuff you’d want to hear, if you were excited about this project. Then McG goes and negates that goodwill somewhat by still claiming his Terminator: Salvation is good stuff (“I think we did a lot right with that Terminator film”), so feel free to take all this with a heaping dose of Gwildor’s barbecue sauce.