More trouble for Columbia’s He-Man And The Masters Of The Universe film attempt.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, G.I. Joe: Retaliation director is no longer attached to the project. And while the Reporter does not speculate as to why Chu has left the project, I would hazard a guess that it was over some sort of creative difference as the Reporter is also saying that screenwriter Terry Rosio has been brought on to provide yet another new draft of the script. I suppose that once that gets turned in we will hear further word on a new director.
Rossio has a decent track record in Hollywood with his frequent co-writer Ted Elliot, having written the first four Pirates Of The Caribbean films for Disney and the first of the Shrek animated features for Dreamworks. They are also the ones who scripted last summer’s mega-flop The Lone Ranger. This looks to be the writer’s first big solo project however. But if he can help turn a Disney theme park ride into a billion-dollar franchise, he might be the one who can create a story and script that will get this project into production.
Mattel, the manufacturers of the He-Man line of toys from which a couple of series of cartoons and the 1987 live action film were spun off from, have been trying to get a new Masters Of The Universe film going for some time now. Originally, they had the project set up with Warner Brothers with a rather good script by Justin Marks entitled simply Grayskull, after the magical fortress that is the source of He-Man’s powers. Kung Fu Panda director John Stevenson was set to helm the project and writer Evan Daugherty took another pass at the screenplay, but ultimately, none of their worked satisfied Mattel and the project moved on to Columbia in the fall of 2009. Once at Columbia, Predators writers Mike Finch and Alex Litvak were brought in to provide a fresh start story-wise. John Chu got involved in July 2012 and seemed enthusiastic about what he wanted to do with the film when he talked it.