Fans have had a long wait to see Masters of the Universe back on the big screen. The franchise – perhaps best known for the 1980s animated series of the same name – has tried for years to get a new film off the ground, as the series’ last cinematic representation was the 1987 box office flop starring Dolph Lundgren. However, the road to production has been fraught with obstacles.

Early on, the project was to be titled Grayskull (after the kingdom He-Man fights for) with Kung Fu Panda‘s John Stevenson in the director’s chair. However, that version of the project fell apart when Sony acquired the film, and director Jon Chu (G.I. Joe: Retaliation) took over. Now it seems the troubled Masters of the Universe reboot has taken a step backward.

According to THR, Jon Chu has left the project, and writer Terry Rossio has been brought on board to work on the script. It’s unclear, however, if Rossio – who co-wrote all four Pirates of the Caribbean films and The Lone Ranger – will simply be re-working the previous version of the script by Predators writers Mike Finch and Alex Letvak or starting over from scratch. In any case, the report mentions that the new Masters of the Universe will be set firmly in He-Man’s the mystical land of Eternia.

The fact that Chu is no longer attached to direct the film may be disappointing to fans since the director seemed intent on finding just the right tone for the new film and avoiding the campy aspects that have defined previous incarnations of the franchise. Hopefully, the director leaving the project doesn’t indicate that Sony hopes to embrace a sillier approach to the property and make the same mistake that fans are anticipating from the Jonathan Liebesman’s Ninja Turtles reboot.

That being said, the studio’s decision to bring Rossio onboard likely means that Masters of the Universe is being positioned as a more family-friendly adventure. After all, the writer specializes in making swashbuckling summer blockbusters that adults and children alike can enjoy (in addition to his work on Pirates, Rossio had a hand in the two Zorro films that starred Antonio Banderas). Until a new director comes on board the film, fans can only hope that the Masters of the Universe reboot is able to carefully toe the line between a fun popcorn flick and an over-the-top mess, assuming Rossio’s involvement is based on infusing the film with a lighter tone.

Do you think Rossio is the right fit for Masters of the Universe? Are you disappointed that Chu is off the project? Sound off in the comments below.

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

Source: THR