Posted on 18 October 2012 by Rich Drees
A few months back, GI Joe: Retaliation director John Chu was in talks to direct another 1980s toy-inspired film – He-Man And The Masters Of The Universe. Since then, he has taken the job and has turned his eye towards how he plans to approach the material.
Talking with Celebuzz, Chu touched upon the process he is going through to bring the film to the screen.
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.
Chu also talked about how the script that he was presented from Sony Pictures was what sold and energized him on the idea of doing the film -
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.
While I admire his enthusiasm, I have to reserve judgement on whether he is a good choice for the film until after GI Joe: Retaliation comes out next spring. Prior to tackling GI Joe, Chu’s filmography was dominated by music and dance related films like Step Up 2: The Streets and Justin Bieber: Never Say Never. And while a good action sequence needs a certain rhythm and pace, it remains to be seen if Chu is able to translate that from one genre to another.
Posted on 31 July 2012 by Rich Drees
Does Jon Chu have the power of Grayskull? Sony Pictures seem to think so and have entered into negotiations with the director to have him take charge of their long in development Masters Of The Universe based on the popular Mattel toy line.
This would be Chu’s second toy adaption with the Step Up director having helmed GI Joe: Retaliation for Paramount. That film was pushed by the studio from its summer release to next March to accommodate a post-production 3D conversion.
Mattel has been trying to get a live action Masters Of The Universe film off the ground for a number of years. Initially, the toy maker was teamed with Warner Brothers with Justin Marks turned in a draft entitled Grayskull: Masters Of The Universe in 2008. Mattel took the project to Sony in 2010 with the writing team of Alex Litvak and Mike Finch, who worked on The Three Musketeers and Five Against A Bullet, having done the most recent script work.
Can we all agree that the 1987 live action film with Dolf Lundgren never happened? Thanks.
Posted on 27 February 2011 by Rich Drees
Jon M Chu, the director of the first Step Up dance movies and the Justin Bieber film currently in theaters, has been hired to direct Paramount’s GI Joe 2. On the face of it, the hiring certainly seems a bit out of the blue. I would imagine, though, that when he made his pitch to the studio for the job, he took a page from John Woo’s playbook and drew a parrallel between action and dance sequences. That still doesn’t address whether the follow up will have a better script.
Deadline broke the story of Chu’s hiring, but there also was another interesting nugget buried in their report. It appears that Paramount is now trying to see which actors they can lure back for the sequel, starting with lead Channing Tatum. I have to say that I am surprised by this, as it seems to imply that none of the cast was signed with sequel options when hired for the original film. Reportedly Sienna Miller will not be back as the Baroness, so that part will have to be recast. Also, Joseph Gordon Levitt has been fielding a lot of offers that are probably more appealing than GI Joe 2. I would guess that since it would be hard to exclude either character from the new film, those two roles will be recast.
But the even bigger surprise is that Paramount is insisting on moving ahead on a GI Joe sequel. While the first film did alright business, it was roasted by critics and audiences alike. I’m surprised to think that the studio believes that there is enough good will towards the idea of a sequel that would move forward.