It’s good news for the live-action MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE remake (and bad news depending on how you feel about the “filmmaker” McG). Sony Pictures announced yesterday that the reboot will be released in theaters on December 18, 2018, but EW reports that the film is also now without a director. The CHARLIE’S ANGELS and TERMINATOR SALVATION filmmaker McG has been attached to the MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE reboot since early 2016, but it appears he’s since fallen off the project.
A live-action take on the popular ‘He-Man’ cartoon has been in development for years now, but has been somewhat cursed. Warner Bros. dropped the property in 2009, but then Sony picked it up and set G.I. JOE: RETALIATION filmmaker Jon M. Chu to direct. That obviously didn’t pan out, and in the meantime Sony has had an army of writers trying to tackle the screenplay.
Per EW, MAN OF STEEL scribe David S. Goyer is now on the screenwriting case as Sony is meeting with potential directors. In 2014 the studio considered filmmakers like Harald Zwart (THE KARATE KID remake), Chris McKay (THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE), and Mike Cahill (ANOTHER EARTH), so possible they’ll go back to that well or maybe they’ll search for fresh blood—McKay is probably out of the running, as he’s currently attached to a live-action NIGHTWING movie at Warner Bros.
It’ll be interesting to see who Sony sets to direct this film, which one imagines will set the expectation for what kind of blockbuster this is meant to be. One could go a variety of ways—skew young and cartoony like the TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES movies, or aim for something a bit grittier and ‘Game of Thrones’-esque. It’s no secret that fantasy projects are a gamble for studios—sometimes you get LORD OF THE RINGS and sometimes you get WARCRAFT—but Sony needs a new big franchise badly, so they’ll no doubt put their best foot forward here.