With all the talk of a new movie based on Mattel’s Master of the Universe line of toys, it’s almost as if people have forgotten that there has already been an attempt to bring Skeletor and his minions to the big screen.
And it was actually not that bad–especially considering that it came from Cannon Films, which no longer exists, though they weren’t known for spending a shit-ton on their productions–the movie had some good names, Frank Langella in particular as Skeletor was a coup–and the movie started strongly, before petering out.
Besides, I imagine that Mattel is a bit cheesed-off seeing how many billions Hasbro earned from the movies based on their Transformers line.
1. Remember What Came Before
I get the feeling that the producers of the upcoming Masters Of The Universe reboot don’t want to watch the first movie made in the late eighties, though they should.
It was George Santayana who wrote “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” (which is why Fox needs to return the Fantastic Four to Marvel Studios, but that’s another post)” and the producers of the upcoming Masters Of The Universe reboot need to watch Gary Goddard’s 1987 movie because it’s actually got a lot going for it.
And it also has a lot that should to be avoided this time around, such as…
2. Don’t Design Your Soldiers To Look Like Darth Vader
I’m sure it’s tempting, after all Star Wars is one of the most influential sci-fi movies ever made. That being said, It’s hard to create a property that’s unique and has a feel of its own, without dealing with characters that look a lot like others from (probably) much better movies.
In other words, you can get away with a base that looks distrubiningly like Vader’s head in the Justice League cartoon.
In a live action movie? Not so much.
3. The Theme And Opening Titles Shouldn’t Be Directly Reminiscent Of Better Movies
The opening and theme music to 1987’s Masters Of The Universe probably sounds familiar, especially if you’ve seen 1978’s Superman. Characters, music and opening titles shouldn’t be evocative of another movie because all you’re going to do is remind people of a much better movie.
Never a good thing, especially if by doing so they lose interest in yours.
4. Do Away With The Too-Cute-To-Live Sidekicks
I know that the Masters Of The Universe cartoon that many of us grew up with not only had Orko, but Cringer (before he got some cajones and became Battlecat) but as a proper Masters Of The Universe movie the reboot needs to be taken seriously–though not too seriously. We’re not talking about Batman Of Eternia here–that means that you don’t want to give people reason to mock what you’re doing (this is the age of the Internet, where hatred is often out of proportion to perceived slights).
Besides, isn’t the best fruit that which hangs low?
Establish your universe and the characters that occupy it, then if you feel the need to add a weird CGI floating guy DON’T (though you can at least think about it, though still don’t do it. And if you are, certainly not in the first reboot).
5. Keep The Action On Eternia
The 1987 movie wasn’t even on Eternia for a half-hour before they made their way to Earth. That was a bad move then and is a bad move in our current day as well. Most of us are quite familiar with Earth already, and if we’re in the theater to see a movie with a lead named He-Man (which I hope they change because it’s a really dumb name; almost like if it were designed for children), it’s not too much to ask if it takes place entirely somewhere else.
Masters Of The Universe (1987) is currently on Netflix, where you have the power!