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

Published 2 years ago by , Updated February 16th, 2014 at 9:24 am,

He Man and the Masters of the Universe Dark Horse Comics series Masters of the Universe Director Jon M. Chu Gives Development Update

With G.I. Joe: Retaliation firmly secured as Paramount Pictures’ third biggest box office hit of 2013 so far, the studio is already moving ahead with G.I. Joe 3, and director Jon M. Chu’s success at bringing the classic toy-based franchise to the big screen with a sequel that was a bigger hit than the first movie has dropped the opportunity to direct a movie based on another classic property, Masters of the Universe.

Chu has said previously that he’s not interested in making a campy or tongue-in-cheek movie out of Masters of the Universe, and instead is eager to built a serious, fully-developed fantasy world that will likely be similar in tone to the original mini-comics that came with the toys. At that point, Chu described Masters of the Universe as being still in the design and development stage, and he’s now given in update in response to questions about when exactly production will begin forging ahead.

Based on this interview with ComingSoon, it sounds like there’s still a lot of forging going on with Masters of the Universe, but it doesn’t seem to be moving ahead just yet. Chu states that he is still working on designs and development of Eternia and the characters in it, as he was a few months ago:

“We’ve been designing a ton of stuff for Masters of the Universe as a really beautiful, grounded, honest world – that’s the best way I can describe it. It’s everything you want Masters of the Universe to be in terms of the fantasy but not in a way theatrical crazy way. It is actually a gorgeous world that we’re doing in the initial visual concepts that we’ve been making.”

Chu’s Masters of the Universe has been described as a “sort of origin story” about the character, which is probably going to be necessary in order to establish He-Man for a new audience. Aside from the new mini-comics that accompany the current line of Masters of the Universe toys, there haven’t been any major additions to the property since the short-lived 2002 TV reboot. The franchise is currently in a good position to be rebooted, since many among the current generation of children and young teens who will presumably constitute the primary target audience (along with the die-hard fans of course) will most likely be unfamiliar with previous iterations of the character.

He Man in the new line of Dark Horse Comics Masters of the Universe Director Jon M. Chu Gives Development Update

This leaves Chu with the opportunity to bring a fresh new take to the series, but also with the challenge of recreating Eternia for the big screen in a way that will be accessible for a new audience. It’s therefore promising that Chu cites the script, which was originally penned by Predators writing team Mike Finch and Alex Litvak, for Masters of the Universe as the main reason he found the confidence to take on the job:

“The script for ‘Masters of the Universe’ is what really hooked me… I love Masters of the Universe, but I didn’t know necessarily how to make it into a movie until I read the script and thought, ‘Oh my gosh, I totally see it. I get how this is going to shake it up, I get how this is different from any other thing,’ and it got me really really excited.”

Keep in mind that Masters of the Universe is still in the initial design stages and plenty could still change from this point, including the potential to fall into development hell. Chu wasn’t able to say when exactly the cameras are likely to begin rolling on Masters of the Universe, and he also dropped a hint that he may end up having to choose between He-Man and G.I. Joe, as Paramount recently tapped Chu to return for the third movie in the rebooted G.I. Joe franchise. The director admits that if the planned shooting schedules clash, “I don’t know if Masters of the Universe will wait for me.”

Do you like the sound of Jon M. Chu shaking things up for Masters of the Universe like he did for G.I. Joe? Give us your thoughts on this new comments from the director, and which of the two toy-inspired franchises you’d prefer to see a continuation of, in the comments.


Sony Pictures hasn’t yet announced a release date for Masters of the Universe, but we’ll keep you updated on any further developments.

Source: ComingSoon

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  1. I assume this movie is going to suck hard considering John Chu is directing this.

    • Not suck. Nibble. The director’s name is John “Chu”.

    • I’m sure it will.

  2. every one on this site know how much I love he man , I hope this movie ends up being half decent mang

    • I didn’t

    • who are you?

  3. Here’s the true story of GI Joe 2: It was a turkey. They delayed the film a year for emergency reshoots and… still a turkey.

    They delayed the release a year so they could hire a new, uncredited director along with a new crew to shoot the new scenes. Chu went along with the ruse to save face, Paramounts face of course.

    Gi Joe 2 is an abomination. It’s like something that walked out of a 70’s cinema and asked Stuart Baird to fly in from England and do some emergency re-shoots because hey, we have new 3d cameras we forgot to use during principal photography. How can you have Bruce Willis in a movie and not have him wink at the audience? When your production team is clueless, that’s how.

    Now this hack is talking about making a He-man movie…. have you seen the returns this summer? How much of a percentage are the returns down from last year.

    Chu will be directing E! True Hollywood stories 5 years from now.

    • ikr? he talks about not wanting to be campy when GI Joe2 was the most cliche’d campy crap I’ve eve seen

  4. Why is this even being made in the first place?

  5. I. Am. He-Man. (Betcha didn’t recognize me without my glasses, didja?).

  6. It’ll probably be indistinguishable from Conan. Bit I really would love to see a good movie for this guy tho.

  7. How is this guy trusted with any intellectual property is beyond me.

    • Because the powers that be don’t possess any intellectual ‘property’ up there between the ears?

  8. It would be awesome to see a studio and director take this property seriously and look at it as Lord of the Rings on Eternia. The grand landscapes (only more colorful), the cool castles/cities. Closer to the look of Asgard from Thor.
    Imagine the Witch King riding a purple panther and with a skeleton face. Skeletor could be scary. Beast Man would be a big hairy ork. It could be a totally sweet new fantasy franchise.

    • “Imagine the Witch King riding a purple panther and with a skeleton face.”

      I did what you asked and immediately realized what a bad idea this “movie” is.

    • I would buy that vision. It could really be awesome.

      • Probably in a STV kinda way. Yeah, sure. Why not?

  9. ^ Yeah because Conan had a Battle Cat!

  10. I think I am most excited to see how the characters look compared to the cartoons. The ones I am most excited for are Trapjaws, Triclops, Merman, Ram Man, Man at arms, and Orco which I hope they really recreate him but kinda stay honest to the character maybe make him a dark elf that’s a cluts and not a hovering rag. but He-man and Skeletor are the ones that make the film move a really creepy skeletor riding a huge black Panther and He-Man riding Battle cat would be sweet if pulled off right.



    • Thanks for dropping by, He-Man. It’s flattering to know that you read Screen Rant in your downtime.

  12. I’ve been waiting for this reboot more than any other 80’s cartoon or comic book movie fit for the big screen with Justice League coming in second.I never been in what was the most popular my whole life but growing up a kid in the 80’s there were two things I couldn’t help but love,Micheal Jackson and Masters of the Universe….and maybe a little thing called WWF lol.Im still not sold on Chu in the directors chair but those fight scenes in G.I.Joe Retaliation were pretty good even though the movie still sucked.No matter who gets to work on the project I hope it gets the justice it needs bcuz it truly deserves it.Transformers crap,G.I.Joe crap,need I say more.

  13. God I hope GI JOE catches up with this so Chu DOESN’T direct it! He’s trash, I can’t believe his drivel is acceptable in Hollywood. The only thing that sounds good is the script, but if that’s coming from him I’m not sure. Glad to hear it’s grounded of course and not too cheesy, I have been waiting for a proper version of this since I was a kid. Someone with the right vision needs to direct this, not some Michael Bay wannabe.

    • “Glad to hear it’s grounded of course and not too cheesy”

      How can having the words “HE” and “MAN” as the name of the titular character be considered grounded and not too cheesy?


      • LOL!!!!!!!

        Bat and….MAN! SOOOOO CHEESY! I’m sure everyone was just “cheesed” out by how cheesy Nolan’s universe was.

        • You got me there Bats!
          I give up!

          • Haha, I just hope what Chu is saying about the script being more grounded means that it takes away the campiness of the “Full House”-esque messages at the ending and the childish nature of Cringer. The cat doesn’t have to talk of course, but with CGI, we could see some pretty awesome Battle Cat sequences. I suppose a dude riding a giant tiger is a bit cheesy, but once you realize this is a fantasy realm, it would be more like Lord of the Rings…..or so I hope. They need Peter Jackson! He would be perfect for this kind of a film and still capture the essence of the series. It was really just pitting good against evil, protecting a secret identity, helping the helpless, fighting with bravery and learning life lessons along the way. I think they could conceivably incorporate all these essential elements of the series and do it right. I would hope the look of the castles and landscapes stays very true to the cartoon, that to me was what set the tone. I thought Eternia was one of the more well-drawn lands out there. If they built a scaled version of Castle Greyskull I’d s*** my pants!

            • Yeah the look of Eternia has to be perfect,if not then half the movie is a fail already.I do want Masters to have that LOTR tone,but I do want to see the transformation of Adam to He-Man.Alot of people say it’s cheesy,but that’s one of the most important things about MOTU.Im a Skelotor guy mainly,but if I don’t see the transformation im gonna be very pi**ed off at someone.From early rumors they’re going off the mini-comics which didn’t have Adam,so it might be like the 80’s movie where we only saw He-Man.Im sure the new film will be better than that one,but they better figure out a way to do the Adam/He-Man thing and not make it terrible.

  14. Normally, as a huge fan of He-Man as a kid, I’d assume the actual live action would suck hard, but in the hands of a capable director like Joh….nevermind.

  15. This Masters of the Universe project sounds like it could be very cool. But I am not sure how hopeful to get…

    For the record, I found GI Joe: Retaliation quite disappointing. Rise of Cobra wasn’t all that great, but it was fun.

    • I agree. GI Joe 1 was fun, but part 2 was garbage.

      He sounds like a big He-Man fan so that gave me hope at first, but he’s also a GI Joe fan and look how that turned out. I hope he does GI Joe 3 instead and leaves this one for somebody who will do it justice.

  16. It would be nice if this was the beginning of some new franchise, like others have said, lord of the rings but with cool tech… sadly, it will end up being another Hollywood bastardization, a PG13 train-wreck like Transformers and GI. Joe aimed at children.

  17. I want to believe this will be awesome

  18. He man and Battle Cat?
    Prince Adam and Cringer?

    He Man and Adam..Both have the same hair, the same build, and the same walk.

    Battle cat and Cringer. What are the odds of TWO talking Green yellowed striped tigers on the same planet that has…ZERO Other talking Green Yellow striped tigers?

    Plus, anyone remember when He-Man and Superman met?

  19. I just hope they do Skeletor justice.

    • Well they did do two Ghost Rider flicks. How’d those turn out?

  20. It’s sad that He-man has come to this. He wants to make it a serious story? He totally doesn’t understand He-man as he was originally intended to be.

    This is going to be a disaster unless they play off the cheesiness of the original cartoon. Whoever directed “Enchanted” should be the one to direct this.

    • Haven’t you ever seen Legend!? It can be done, Ridley Scott created a very fairy tale-like universe for adults. The themes were so primal, good and evil, light and dark, but the cosmetics were over the top and the acting while some might consider it dull, I thought it was passionate.

      I think if He-Man is going anywhere, it should go the route of Legend, the epic movie everyone forgets about.

  21. Sounds like he’s b.s.-ing. When you get no news for months/weeks from sources other than the prospective filmmaker’s mouth, then you know its close to development hell as can be

  22. Chu,

    You film here will rail if you do not use Ty Fleming in the role of He-Man! Channing Tatum and Kellan Lutz will not carry off the part and no A-List actor is required!!@!! Use somebody who not only looks the part, but is passionate about MOTU! Easy $$

    Check out his Twitter or Instagram @BigTyDiesel

    • This Ty Fleming guy could have it going on for the role of HeMan! He’s pretty and somewhat feminine looking but also looks like a Superhero and he’s obviously a big strong guy who is soooo good looking as well #NoHomo What’s this Diesel stuff he’s always hyping though and his instagram is so random!!!!!!!