Warner Bros. and Mattel have finally found the man to remind everyone of the greatness of He-Man and the other Masters of the Universe. After all, if he could make a martial-arts panda convincing...
John Stevenson, one of the directors of Dreamworks' Kung-Fu Panda, has been tapped to direct the new movie based upon the 1980s Mattel toyline, from a script written by Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li's Justin Marks. Stevenson was selected for the gig because of his love for the characters, according to Mattel's Barry Waldo:
John had such passion that we found ourselves running to catch up with his vision.
Stevenson's passion may come from the people who've handled the franchise prior; for all that He-Man may have a bad rep, a lot of talented people have been involved with the character in the past; animation living legends Bruce Timm and Paul Dini both honed their craft on the character when he first appeared, and J. Michael Straczynski was one of the writers of the original 1983 cartoon that accompanied the toys.
The project - to be produced by The Matrix's Joel Silver - will be Stevenson's first live-action movie as director, although his CV includes art department stints on movies like Little Shop of Horrors and Labyrinth. Who knows? Maybe the future of the planet Eternia is in good hands after all.
Flickr image by Phil_G.
WB, Joel Silver shaping He-Man film [Variety]