Director John Chu talks Masters of the Universe and G.I. Joe Retaliation
We've all been moaning and groaning over the decision to bump director John Chu's G.I. JOE: RETALIATION from summer to March 2013, but in this interview with Celebuzz, he discusses where the film is at in terms of finishing up and what seems very likely to be his next film; the long-awaited adaptation of MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE. As a child of the '80's my bedroom floor was littered with He-Man figures and my eyes were glued to the TV every day after school to watch the scantily-clad hero use everything but his magical sword to beat his enemies.
What prompted Chu to tackle MOTU:
"I was approached about doing a Masters of the Universe movie and while at first I was skeptical, I read the script and I was blown away. I had no idea what to expect but it was such a fresh, UNEXPECTED approach I was immediately intrigued. I never expected to connect on a human level to a MOTU movie but I really plugged in emotionally. That alone, got me excited to see what we could do with the property.
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. 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.
It was never a conscious decision to do another “toy” movie but when I read this I couldn’t put it down. And I definitely couldn’t let anyone else make it but myself :) It was just too much fun."
On whether he was a fan of the toys:
"I LOVED the toys growing up. I had Grayskull, I had BattleCat/Cringer, I had Stratos and Orko and obviously He-Man and Skeletor. I also watched the cartoon a lot growing up. This is my era, so going to Mattel to visit their headquarters was like walking into a childhood fantasy. 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."
On exploration of the MOTU mythos and comparisons to the '80's movie with Dolph Lundgren:
"I feel like there’s a lot of room to crack open the Masters of the Universe story. 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.
I don’t really think about the 80s movie when looking at this movie because the script here is so strong and so unique. I think the characters are so grounded and layered I never expected that in a Masters movie so to me it’s on a totally different level. Don’t get me wrong, I love the 80s movie for full nostalgic reasons but this script feels like it’s a totally different genre than that one."
On when he'll start on MOTU and the state of G.I. Joe Retaliation:
"I can’t say exactly, but my first priority right now is still G.I. Joe: Retaliation. We are finishing the dimensionalizing of the film and I want the audience to be blown away by the 3D work we do in it so that takes a lot of my time and energy currently. It’s a lot of technical and creative stuff put together which I love. I can’t wait for people to see what we’ve done, finally!"
I read a MOTU script a few years ago that was pretty entertaining and much more serious in tone than the cartoon (which is ridiculous, in case you haven't seen it since the '80's...I have...thank you Netflix streaming). I've always been intrigued by the Frazetta-ish art that adorned the toy packaging and hoped to see a movie adaptation that echoed that style and tone. Can Chu bring that home? Time will tell. Oh, and click here to check out a MOTU art gallery showing a few years back. Some truly great gems in there.
John Chu's G.I. JOE: RETALIATION, starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Channing Tatum, Adrianne Palicki, Bruce Willis, Ray Park, Ray Stevenson, Byung-hun Lee, D.J. Cotrona, Jonathan Pryce, and RZA will hit theaters in 2D and 3D on March 29, 2013.
And, I'll just leave this right here for you...
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|Extra Tidbit:||Would you prefer campy or Conan for your MOTU adaptation?|