Charlie’s Angels‘ Director Is Helming a Masters of the Universe Reboot. What? How? WHY?
Remember Masters of the Universe? The 1987 cinematic adaptation of the He-Man cartoons was a total disappointment at the time, although a recent fan-made trailer that mashes up scenes from the movie with music from Star Wars: The Force Awakens reminded me that there are still some people out there who want Masters of the Universe to return in some form. Those people will be happy to hear that, according to Deadline, the movie will be getting a reboot — helmed by Joseph McGinty “McG” Nichol.
McG, best known for helming the Charlie’s Angels movies, as well as producing some moderately successful female-led TV shows like Nikita and Mysteries of Laura, clearly has experience with action-packed scripts. I’d argue that Charlie’s Angels, which got panned at the time, is still significantly more watchable than the original Masters of the Universe. So, assuming this planned reboot actually happens, I think McG’s take on the story might be interesting — and given that most of his past projects revolve around compelling heroines, perhaps He-Man‘s Teela will be given something to do this time around besides acting as the default damsel in distress. McG is currently overseeing a rewrite of the Masters of the Universe script, which was written by Alex Litvak and Mike Finch.
Even if the script turns out great, though, this reboot seems completely out of left field, so it’s hard to imagine how it could succeed. In 1987, Masters of the Universe made sense — although the He-Man cartoon wasn’t still airing, it was still a super-popular franchise, and the He-Man and She-Ra cartoons later enjoyed a successful re-run stint on TV in the early ’90s. However, while the 2002 attempt to reboot the He-Man cartoon as a grittier, darker story had some success, it definitely didn’t become as iconic as the original. These days, I’m not sure teens care about He-Man enough to go see a big action movie about him, although it’s likely that nerds aged 30 and up still harbor fond feelings for Eternia.
I suppose the same could be said for Charlie’s Angels in the early aughts, though — that was a decades-old property that McG hoped to give new life. But given how unsuccessful those movies were, I don’t have high hopes for the success of a Masters of the Universe reboot, even if the movie turns out really good.
That said, I’m personally pretty interested to see what McG does with this idea, even if I’m the only one in the cinema. It would be interesting to see the He-Man franchise return to its roots and do something more corny and light-hearted, as opposed to trying for the “gritty, grim, dark reboot” cliche. Plus, since I doubt anyone is paying a ton of attention to this weird little idea, perhaps that’ll allow McG to do something risky and weird with it. Worst case scenario we end up with another Transformers or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles — movies that abandoned their source material in everything but name. Given McG’s prior projects, though, I don’t think that’s what will happen here. We shall see!
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