Wow, Sony has been busy as of late - they have acquired two fairly "hot" projects, the new live-action He-Man/Masters of the Universe movie, as well as the Robert Rodriguez faux-trailer-turned-full-length-feature, Machete.
It's only been a couple of weeks since Screen Rant reported that the live-action Masters of the Universe had left Warner Bros. and shed producer Joel Silver. The reason for this was reportedly because of a disagreement between WB/Silver and toy makers Mattel, about the direction the film was going in.
However, fear not He-Man fans, as Variety is reporting that Sony is in the final stages of making a deal to produce the new Masters of the Universe, with Escape Artists shepherding the project. Sources close to the negotiations say that both Sony and Escape Artists' Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal and Steve Tisch will soon start developing the project for Columbia Pictures (which Sony owns).
Kung Fu Panda director, John Stevenson, was previously attached to direct, but there's no word if he'll follow He-Man to Sony. Two separate versions of a script have previously been written by Justin Marks and Evan Daugherty, but it appears a new writer will be hired now that the project is at Sony, since those two scripts belong to WB (I predicted the change in writer, FYI, even if I got the reasoning wrong :P ).
I can't really say that I'm either excited or disappointed by Sony landing Masters of the Universe - they're as good as the next studio, I suppose. But I am very glad the project has found a new home, because I'm looking forward to a new, hopefully more bad-ass, He-Man movie (the Dolph Lundgren one is fun but...). Here's hoping it's smooth sailing from now on for the project.
Robert Rodriguez's Machete (co-directed by his long-time collaborator, Ethan Maniquis, FYI) is a film that's been on my most anticipated list ever since I saw the faux trailer in Grindhouse and, of course, heard that it (along with Eli Roth's Thanksgiving) was getting the full-length treatment. Thankfully, we're now one step closer to seeing it on our screens...international screens, that is.
Sony has acquired most international rights to Machete, which is currently in production in Austin, Texas, with cast Danny Trejo, Rose McGowan, Jessica Alba, Robert De Niro, Cheech Marin and Michelle Rodriguez. There's curiously no word on domestic (U.S.) distribution, although I'd be very surprised if we didn't hear word on that soon.
In case you don't know, the story of Machete centers around a Mexican "police officer" who gets revenge (in all sorts of violent ways) against the villains who double-crossed him. In my opinion, along with Roth's aforementioned Thanksgiving, it was the only one of the Grindhouse faux trailers (the others included Edgar Wright's Don't and Rob Zombie's Werewolf Women of the S.S.) that could have been extended into a full length feature film. Word from an early script review from Latino Review says that Machete is exactly what you'd expect it to be - basically a 90 minute version of the trailer. That means more blood, more violence, and more machetes...
What do you think about Masters of the Universe and Machete both landing at Sony? Which direction should the new He-Man movie go? Are you looking forward to a full-length version of Machete or is the trailer enough for you?
Neither Masters of the Universe or Machete have release dates set as of yet, although for the latter I don't expect it to be that long before we hear word (we'll keep you posted).
Sources: THR and Variety