Director Jon M. Chu Provides ‘Masters of the Universe’ Update

Published 2 years ago by

jon m chu Director Jon M. Chu Provides Masters of the Universe Update

It seems like just yesterday that director Jon M. Chu became attached to the long-gestating Masters of the Universe reboot. At the time, the move seemed more than a bit odd, given the filmmaker’s previous directorial efforts included two films in the dance-centric Step Up series and a documentary feature about Justin Bieber. True, Chu was already in production on G.I.: Retaliation, but with that film’s reception up in the air, it remains to be seen whether or not Chu is the right man to bring He-Man and the kingdom of Grayskull to life.

Like G.I. Joe, Masters of the Universe is a franchise near and dear to an entire generation of children who grew up with the 1980s animated series, its numerous action figures and the 1987 big-screen adaptation starring Dolph Lundgren. Can Chu successfully update the franchise to appeal to longtime fans as well as younger viewers who may not even be familiar with the likes of Skeletor, Man-At-Arms and Orko?

According to IGN, the reason we haven’t heard any concrete details on Chu’s Masters of the Universe is precisely because he and his creative team are taking the time to hone their approach to the material. Here’s what he had to say:

“We’re still early, but we’re deep in experimenting. This is the most fun phase for me because we get to try everything we’ve ever wanted to try in ‘Masters,’ and then we get to throw out all the things that don’t work – which is most of it – to know what our right tone is, where we’re going to head with it. And it’s a very important phase because it shows you the direction we’re going to go in the future. We’re very early. We don’t know a lot yet, other than we’re playing around having a lot of fun.”

The fact that Chu is “experimenting” with the franchise is certainly a good sign that he’s concerned about respecting the franchise’s history and creating a satisfying film for the existing fanbase. Masters of the Universe is a world full of magic, mythology and an endless cast of characters, both human and supernatural in nature. Without the right take on the material, the resulting film could end up in disaster.

he man1 570x320 Director Jon M. Chu Provides Masters of the Universe Update

Case in point, Jonathan Liebesman’s Ninja Turtles – another cherished property with its roots in the 1980s – has already suffered criticism from fans (and co-creator Peter Laird) due to the filmmakers’ decision to change the character’s mutant origins. A new Masters of the Universe may take a bit longer to hit theaters than that film, but this slow-and-steady approach to production may ultimately be in its favor.

What would you like to see in Chu’s Masters of the Universe? Let us know in the comments below.

Stay tuned to Screen Rant for the latest on Masters of the Universe.


Source: IGN

Follow Robert Yaniz Jr. on Twitter @crookedtable
Get our free email alerts on the topics and author of this article:


Post a Comment

GravatarWant to change your avatar?
Go to and upload your own (we'll wait)!

 Rules: No profanity or personal attacks.
 Use a valid email address or risk being banned from commenting.

If your comment doesn't show up immediately, it may have been flagged for moderation. Please try refreshing the page first, then drop us a note and we'll retrieve it. Keep in mind that we do not allow external links in the comments.

  1. Would rather have a thundercats or voltron movie, sh*t i’d settle for captain planet. Masters of the Universe isn’t that interesting imo *shrugs*

    • Captain Planet?… Seriously? Your childhood musta sucked.

      • laughing my butt off!! I forgot all about Captain Planet corny self

    • Actually, I’ll agree a Voltron movie would be awesome. But, if the He-Man cartoons were not that bad for their time. I just hope this time they don’t turd all over the series.

      • You guys want Voltron, then I’d give Pacific Rim ago, that’ll be as close to a Macross / Voltron / Mazinger Z Mecha Live Action moive we’re gonna see for a while and even longer if it bombs too badly.

        • pacific rim is more closer to a live-action Neon Genesis Evangelion movie than any those…just saying. But..I’m kinda of the mind that Voltron movie isn’t moving forward anytime soon.

          • It looks like Pacific Rim will actully have action in it instead of kids and adults talking about hurt feelings the whole time.

            • Yeah, you will have the monsters talking about their hurt feelings LOL

    • Captain Planet! Now that’s funny!

    • Haha… they are makin a captain planet movie also…

    • i like captain planet, but seriously bruv grow da fu*k up he-man masters of the universe was and still is awesome go do sum home work first and then u might be surprised at how well they can expand on a mystical universe, and as for “voltron” i would rather them make Z.0.E(zone of enders) movie that would be awesome!!

      peace homie!!!!!!!!!

      • @norrin radd last comment

    • what happened to the rumors on the Thundercats realtime movie? i remember like 2 yrs ago a rumor rising about them doing one… Voltron now thats a decent idea with our modern Technology. make it more serious then the early 90s Power Ranger films lol.

    • Yeah, let’s here it for “The Herculoids”!! (Only kidding, but I would like to see A Johnny Quest flick, tho. That was the super-sci-fi cartoon I grew up with!).

      • oh my gosh YES. I have mentioned the Herculoids before. Of all the 60′s cartoons it would be on the top of my list for having a live adaption (or maybe even a full CGI version). Imagine just seeing those crazy creatures done today?!

  2. I would like to see me some Orko! And also other characters that are true to the cartoon without seeming too campy. If they do his best pal, it should be more Battle Cat and less Cringer though.
    Still, as long as it’s better than the last film (which shouldn’t be too hard) I’ll be happy.

    I wonder what happened to the guy that made this trailer in a bid to get to make the movie (or so I heard). He seemed like he’d be a good choice too.

    • Please don’t link to garbage like that anymore.

      • Why was that garbage? As far as I remember there was a guy who actually wanted to make the film and made that “trailer” in order to pitch his vision for the job to studios. I remember reading an interview with him on some he man fan site. I could be wrong about the trailer, but I thought that was the one.

  3. Omg are they done regurgitating the 80s yet? Seriously I’m gonna start puking neon colors any minute. Why not a gritty reboot of some 90s material, like rugrats or animaniacs? For the love of god please make it stop…one more cgi smurf or chipmunk and imma start killing every woodland creature I come across!

    • Maybe just dont watch those movies??

    • I would pay money to see a gritty animaniacs reboot.

      And BTW, you would only kill the woodland creatures until you found the woodland critters, who would proceed to rape you, have a blood orgy, and then pee in your eye socket.

      • Ok I was just joking um…but mr moderator can we havve the graphic obscene comment above removed. Thank you!

        • LOL….soo sad

        • @living la vida locust

          I take it you haven’t seen that Christmas episode of South Park with the Satan worshipping woodland critters then?

  4. The original “Masters of the Universe” movie was so bad that it set a new low for all movies. They pretty much trashed the show with 80′s effects and tried to make it into a kind of rock anthem type movie (I understand heavy metal and big hair bands were awesome in the day, some of my favorite music is from that time). It felt like the writers couldn’t decide whether to make that movie like Conan, or for kids, so they somehow mashed the two concepts together. Maybe a He-Man origins story, with a small cameo for a future She-Ra movie could be successful. But please, no trading worlds and weird Kentucky Fried Chicken fetishes!

    • Amen to that!

      No weird-unrecognizable transformers, ugly smurfs, or cheesy GI Joes either…

  5. Take out all the camp, NO ORKO. No dumb time/dimensional travel to current day earth. Something like this would be a good start maybe:

    • Yeah, but its not He-man without the super transformation. The whole idea of “By the Power of Greyskull! I have the Power!” is basically the borrowing of the energy locked within the castle and reafirming Adam’s drive. Its saying he’s borrowing the power, but realizes his own power, which changes Cringer into the Battlecat. If you don’t have that, then you don’t have He-man. Adam is to He-Man like Clark Kent is to Superman. They may be the same person, but it just isn’t the same without both parts.

      • True. But I always found it weird that Adam and He-Man looked exactly alike, and yet nobody ever suspected!??? It’d be cool if they made Adam a kid kinda like Billy Batson is to Captain Marvel.

        • Many still find it weird how folks, especially lois lane, who has feelings for Superman, somehow can’t tell that supes and clark are actually the same person, simply because the difference is glasses. Clark, because he is superman is well-built and tall like supes, and somehow disappears whenever superman is around. All those notable flags yet –again– somehow people still don’t know that he is superman, just because his alter ego wears glasses? REALLY? I mean it’s not like he’s wearing shades all day like scott summers (albeit red ruby laced shades to keep his powers in check), which covers nearly a 1/3 of his face.

    • Phenex…

      This idea would make for an excellent “He-Man” film…Hopefully, this (or something very similar) comes to pass and is released to theaters. True, there are some changes from the original presentation, but (barring the use of the greatly improved, more serious, more epic, updated version of the mythology) this idea would translate beautifully onto the big screen.

  6. Geez.

    Alright, I will wait until the new G.I Joe flick has it’s run before I write this off. But if they REALLY think today’s audience is fawning over the idea of a super hero whose name is He-Man splashed on the big screen, they are nuts.

    2 ways it works in my humble, unimportant opinion:

    1) Take it serious and give He-Man a real name. Do not worry about any back lash over not calling him He-Man. There won’t be. This is not near and dear to enough people to truly have a back lash. Keep the number of characters to a few, and you need a serious evil to drive Skeletor.
    2) All out, tongue in cheek, completly over the top campy driven action. Then you can be He-Man and have as much of the toy line as you want. You still need enough budget to do it right, but then you can have all the fun you want and let the audience in on the joke!! This is my preference. I am always up for a good laugh and fun action. If we are never getting a Deadpool movie, then this could fill that gap.

    Anything in between (think last years Conan) and I do not see how it works.

    • they’re counting on nastolgia to help sell the film. it was a popular show back in the day, and they’re hoping that will help the film.

      • There won’t be enough of a backlash?

        I think you missed when Darren Aronofsky said that about Robocop (claiming “nobody saw that movie anyway so we can do what we like with it”) then subsequently got attacked from all sides by fans of the first Robocop movie.

        Trust me, there are usually enough fans of pretty much anything you can think of to cause a stir.

  7. Sorry but He-Man has to be called He-Man! I loved Masters of the universe when I was young, I even loved the movie! Their is so much potential in this if its done right, Bring back He-Man!

    • I’m thinking lord of the rings. this new he-man movie must be handled delicately like jackson handled lord of the rings.

  8. I would actually have it set after the first one. After Skeletor falls, Eternia could of been at peace for 30 years, which is when we rejoin, Skeletor ensembles an evil army in secret, they launch an attack on Eternia’s annual peace day, and due to the powers of good not expecting the attack, Skeletor makes quick work of the take over. He-man would of been retired, and unneeded for the last 30 years, and would of become the Adam persona, married and settled down somewhere.. Then comes the Rocky like training montage of him training, resulting in him HAVING THE POWER OF GRAYSKULL, kicks some ass, has a one on one with Skeletor and BOOM ya have yourself a quality He-man film.


  9. Hahahaha, reboot reboot reboot. Start making original movies and please stop coughing up 80′s outdated concepts just to piss all over put childhoods. I’ve already seen Conan, Dredd and Total Recall and (OMG) they were the worst movies I saw in 2012 by quite a distance!!! I watched them for free, I couldn’t even bring myself to pay money for them. And now they want to reboot ‘Masters of the Universe’ haha, April fools day is later this week, concentrate on the tomb raider reboot, robocop remake, escape from New York reboot, mad max reboot etc etc etc. maybe they can remake/reboot labyrinth, never ending story, flight of the navigator (they are!!), short circuit (they are!!), Care Bears the movie (haha), thundercats, transformers (oh right), dark crystal, Star Wars (oh yes, 7). It seems I’ll mostly be watching independent movies in 2013.

    • Total Recall wasn’t bad. I’ll agree with you about the others. And yeah, I am getting tired of all these “reboots”- It feels like Hollywood no longer wants to step outside of the box (office) and take a risk with something original.

      • You know what I’m saying, beg to differ on total recall (in my opinion of course), really didn’t like it

        • Dredd was the best movie of 2012 and Conan released in 2011 and was also pretty damn great.

          Total Recall…haven’t seen the remake but I’d rather stick with the original.

    • I thought Dredd was a lot of fun. Urban nailed the role.

  10. If they do do it then it definately needs to stay on Eternia, give it it’s own little world, maybe a bit of a Lord of the Rings / Hobbit type treatment, that whole this actually exsists somewhere and we’ve just turned up kinda feel.

    So the material and world it enhabits is treated with respect and seriuously, the plot is the hard bit, good vs evil, evil loses, comes back next week to teach an important moral lesson. Not a recipe for high drama.

    The big problem with He-Man the show was that all the good guys were whiter than white and the bad guys we’re black as pitch so there’s no internal conflict, after all like Joe it was a easy way of imparting moral values on the kids that watched it so internal angst would be lost on most 5-10year olds.

    They’d need to bring in Man-e-Faces as he was the only character that i remember having any angst as the human face was always terrified of what he did when he was the green reptilian face.

    • Haha, you looking for some grit, a darker theme? A bit of an internal struggle, perhaps the film should be shot from battle cats point of view. It seems that there has to be an underlying personal flaw with any characters to make them interesting, this film is about a bloke who is pretty normal (and gay it seems now we all look back on it) who utters some magical words with a sword which transforms him into the strongest man in the galaxy and he is fighting against (basically) a skeleton – Simple. There is no need for them to have depression or a back story or an internal struggle or a love triangle or a cunning plan. My god, its all about over complicating a very simple scenario these days, if these hacks want to re-write the 80′s then can we also have something brainless please.

      • Actually just his head was a skeleton!

  11. Depends on where it take place..Eternia or Earth. Now many of you may or may not know. When the Masters of the Universe line first came out back in 1982. There was a tie in comic that introduced He-Man and company to the DC Universe. There was a comic with He-Man that had him and Superman Interact. To a point, He-Man was the most powerful man in the universe, even compared to Superman.

    But an Earth base He-Man would definitely need to be tweaked. Instead of Prince Adam, you will have Adam Prince.
    Instead of a Sword (Odd for someone to be carrying a swords on their back as an average citizen) Adam Prince uses a Ring that transforms him to He-Man and then the sword is produced.

    He can have Cringer as an regualar house cat, that can grow to an enormous size (Its Magic after all).

    Man at Arms becomes a Mechanic or Mentor. But, I see Adam Prince as Heir to Prince Industries. His Father owns the Company and he still has this Mother. He can be a hero that ..HAS NO FAMILIAL LOSS..No great tragedy that convinces him to become a hero. Adam Prince does not even know his destiny till A Teacher (The Sorceress) takes a nurturing nature to him and slowly eases him into his role.

    Orko, can be introduced, but he is only seen to people who know of his existence.

    Skeletor. I see him as a former disgruntled employee of Prince Industries and with his cohorts plot a scheme to steal an experimental weapon. This weapon is on a quantum scale and have been deemed to dangerous to be release. Prince Industries closes the Quantum Weapons, but Skeletor (Before he became Skeletor) steals the weapon and plans to sell to the highest bidder. Due to the instability of the weapon, it detonates before they can sell the weapon. The Weapon works a bit differently and it reveal to a be no

    • cliche much? I see you’ve taken things from “Iron Man”, “Star Trek” (TNG era), and “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch” and meshed them together. No thanks. I don’t want to see a real world, Earth-based He-Man. I want to see fantasy. That is what He-Man is. I admit, I like the light sword/dark sword conflict storyline/script that a different post on this thread mentioned.

      • Newsflash

        Most Cartoon to movies are cliche central.

  12. Dang it! Posted before I was finished.

    no ordinary weapon. It is an experimental quantum engine powered by a source of energy known as Eternium. It came from a meteorite and Prince Industires develops the power source

    The Resulting explosion transforms Skeletor and his minions into the personas they are mentally attached to, Beastman like Animals, Merman likes fish, Evil Lynn is a mega b****, and so forth.

    Adam Prince has his destiny reveal due to the release of Eternium which for reasons unknown, opens a inter dimensional gate way between Earth and Castle Grayskull…Then we work the rest out.

    • No No NO

  13. ^^^^^^^^^ He’s gone all Christopher Nolan on it.

    • @looper

      YOU TAKE THAT BACK NOW!!!!!!!!!!!

    • @looper148 *snicker* I think you just inspired me to start saying that about EVERYTHING!

      “This he-man movie certainly has a nolan feel.” I’m seriously LOLing right now.

      • Percy Jackson comes to mind and not in a good way. Okay ideas but not for He-Man. Eternia was enough of a great setting(magic, medieval and technology) to not have to move it to Earth. That, in my opinion, would be a huge departure from what it could be. No ring(?) and no Adam Prince. Taking those things away…it’s change for the sake of change. In short, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

  14. DC recently put out a He-Man & Masters of the Universe miniseries that was really well done. It was gritty but not over the top so it can be done and done well.

    • Major Fury…



  16. As long as we get cringer and battle cat prince adam then holding the sword up saying by the power of grey skull and sparks with greyskull in the background with the theme it will be awesome well def a awesome skeletor snake mountain evil lynn trap jaw

  17. I’m all for this, I loved this show as a kid, and I would watch a well done movie today. No Dolph unless it’s a cameo though. He just wasn’t a good He-Man. I hate to say it because he really can’t act very well, but John Cena has the build to be He-Man. If he could only act.

  18. Nicolas cage could play He-man

  19. Keep Nolan far away from this, or anything else that you want done right. Hasn’t he caused enough damage in Hollywood already?!?

    • Actually, he’s caused no problems and has, in fact, done excellent work. Some of his more obnoxiously vocal fans AND haters have been the cause of all the concerns, irritations, and general negativity.

      So far, I’m quite happy with his films and anticipate more thrills and thought-provoking film-making from him…

  20. Mattel, in the last few years, has been releasing an updated He-Man line that still manages positively to hearken back to the original line and show and even integrates the later variations and reboots. The all-encompassing mythology established (further highlighted by the recent DC mini-series and the He-Man and Skeletor origin one-shots) is fascinating and epic in scope. It IS very possible to make an excellent, modernized Masters of the Universe film…it simply should not be dumbed down like ’80s Lundgren film was. Hopefully, they will make it as epic as it CAN be instead of as imbecilic (“Land of the Lost”) or as goofy (“21 Jump Street”) as it MIGHT be…

    I look forward to seeing how this project develops.

  21. Its Eternia not kingdom of grayskull

  22. I take back nothing. My comment stands.

  23. I would like to see a focus on the struggle of Keldor/Skeletor. He-Man and the Masters are not heroes. They are misguided, good-intentioned civilization spreaders. All the “villains” have either literally colored skin, practice magic, or dwell in the dark hemisphere. While the “heroes” dwell in the lush light hemisphere and revel in technological prosperity. He-Man is this misguided kid with mystical superpowers, counseled by the methodical Man-at-Arms and scheming Sorceress to uphold abd spread the Eternian Way. The Sorceress was originally “The Goddess” and could represent divine right/manifest destiny. Skeletor and his allied “villains” may in fact be cruel and viscious, but they were the rightful inhabitants of the lands now occupied by the Eternians. And Keldor has claim to the throne. This is a story of revenge, feuding half-brothers (Randor & Keldor), the conflicted hero upholding his people’s civilization at a morally dire cost, a bunch of magi-tech heroes and villains filling the roles of super heroes/villains, and dark/evil with a just cause battling light/good totalitarian “Masters.”

    • Waynestl…

      Actually, the Masters were not the ones causing the problems…or displaying the biases. Again, as with most of history, frustrations and conflicts arose because of the people and their willingness to give in to their fears and baser desires. Keldor/Skeletor was, in fact, already greedy and easily corruptible, as were his eventual followers. The Masters were the only REAL line of defense against his brand of evil.

      I disagree, almost wholly, with your take on the subject.

  24. Okay, I admit it: I like the Lundgren movie! There! I said it!

    • +1

  25. How could you knock Frank Langella as Skeletor and Dolph with a mullet?

    Sheesh! That’s entertainment!

  26. “The power fills me. YES. I can feel the universe, within me. I am.. I am a part of the cosmos, within it flows, flows through me. No matter what consequence I do now, this planet, these people, they are nothing to me. The universe is power. Pure, unstoppable power. And I am that force, I am that power. KNEEL before your master. You are no longer my equal. I am more than man, more that life. I.. am a GOD!”-Worst. Movie. Ever. Or at least that’s what I’ve been told. Not really a He-Man fan. The 1980′s animated series isn’t any better. Though, I must admit the 2002 animated series was actually really good. Before they canned it. I enjoyed that one. That’s what I grew up with back then if anything. Not that 80′s crap.

    • The 2002 Animated series was awesome! +1 for mentioning it. The story arc of snakemen was totally intriguing…

  27. 3 things are a must for the new film:
    1. Adam must transform into He-man
    2. Battlecat
    3. Orko
    -Honorable mention-
    Tila must be hot!!!

    • Seeing Battlecat in full CGI (the same as in Avatar) will look very nice. He-Man now and then Voltron (which will be the new star wars if also handled right).


  29. ahem, excuse me, I just had to get that out. I have bee calling for a new He-Man movie for a long long time. so YEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSS!