G.I. Joe: Retaliation’s Jon M. Chu Discusses Mastering He-Man
We learned two years ago that Sony Pictures had hired Predators writers Alex Litvak and Mike Finch to tackle Masters of the Universe, based on the 1980s Mattel toyline turned media franchise. Then all went quiet until July, when G.I. Joe: Retaliation director Jon M. Chu began negotiations to helm the project.
“MOTU is such a challenging puzzle to make into a movie that works to a contemporary audience but the script seemed to really crack it for me,” the director said. “I think people are really going to be surprised at the rich story we have the opportunity to tell in this world. Where you think MOTU goes left, the script goes right and it was just very clear to me this was something very special.”
Chu explained he was a huge fan of the cartoons and toys as a kid, so this movie is right in his wheelhouse. “This is my era, so going to Mattel to visit their headquarters was like walking into a childhood fantasy,” he said. “They had a lifesized He-Man in the lobby as well as a glass case with EVERY SINGLE MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE action figure on display. It brought me back to my youth and I knew I had to be a part of getting this movie together. For every MOTU fan out there, it felt like it was time and I wanted to make sure to protect it in the process.”
When asked about conforming to the existing He-Man mythos or even the 1987 film, Chu said he’s trying to continue on with a unique vision.
“I feel like there’s a lot of room to crack open the Masters of the Universe story,” he said. “We are still in our process and I think we have some great seeds planted but making one of these types of movies RIGHT takes a lot of TONAL tightroping so we’re just going to play for the next several months. Play with designs, play with the characters, try new things, maybe go too far on some things and pull back. The process is really important to find where the right line is so we can land right on it. I think that’s what can dig out the properties full potential for a cinematic rebirth.”