Warner Brothers attempt to adapt the “He-Man and the Masters of the Universe” toy line into a big screen franchise will come to end this month as the studio and “He-Man” owner Mattel have parted ways on the project. The two parties agreed to let the contract option that would have allowed Warners to continue trying to develop the film – tentatively titled Greyskull, after hero He-Man’s castle – to lapse after they couldn’t agree on the direction of the project.
The film was being produced by Joel Silver, who had hired John Stevenson on as director. Stevenson will probably stay with the project, but Silver will not as he has an exclusivity deal with Warners. Writers Evan Daughtery and Justin Marks have taken passes on the script. Mattel will shop the project around to other studios, and with the box office success of Transformers and GI Joe, will very likely find at least a few interested parties.
This turn of events for the project isn’t that surprising, though. A He-Man film was already looking dead in the water at Warners last October, and it was probably just a matter of time before contract terms would lapse and Mattel would get full control back from the studio. Reportedly, the studio was happy with the grittier tone of the screenplay being developed, s0 it can be surmised that Mattel is looking for a film in a lighter vein. With film adaptations of popular toy lines currently being the rage in Hollywood (Remember, they’re making a Battleship movie of all things) I am sure that someone will step up and make a deal with Mattel.