Thursday 14 August 2014


Jeff Wadlow (Writer/Director of Kick-Ass 2, the upcoming X-Force film and allegedly the new He-man film).
Pic Source: Celluloid & Cigarette Burns.
I don't expect that Mr. Wadlow will ever see this (however, I plan on immediately tweeting this to him after I publish, who knows?) but I do think that if there was ever a director on Earth who was directing a Masters of the Universe film who might actually read this, it's the one who turned up to SDCC 2014 and chatted to MOTU fans about the Masters of the Universe movie.

Previously here on Hoard World, I have dream cast the new Masters of the Universe film if you haven't read that yet (Jeff, you can take a look too, if you like pal) but this will indeed be the first time I have directly addressed a current director of the new Masters of the Universe film using the magic of the internets.


Here goes...

Dear Jeff,

We don't know each other very well (or at all) but after viewing your film adaptation of Kick Ass 2, I think you're a good kid, and I like the cut of your cinematic jib.

Despite your previous achievements, and the recent news that you are a life-long MOTU fan who is excited about re-writing and directing SONY's upcoming MOTU live action motion picture, I still think we need to have a quick chat about some stuff.

You know as well as I do, that this 80s nostalgia trip that a lot of people seem to be on right now isn't gonna last forever, that's a given. However, that also means that right now there is no better time to make a MOTU film that completely embraces nostalgia while becoming something brand new.

Think: Adventure Time as a jumping off point. That show is dripping with nostalgic references, retro-style choices and pop culture weirdness yet at no point has become derivative, as it so easily could have ended up. It became something new, and it's popular as heck with a variety of audiences, as a result.

You have an opportunity to do something similar with the new MOTU movie also. It can be dripping with nostalgia, 80s quirkiness and retro-style but rather than devolve into some soulless, reference-based hipster dream, it can become something completely new and exciting.

I hate to resort to this, but you, on some level, literally, have The Power.

We both know everybody loves Skeletor but we also know the one thing we can't escape from is that the lead character is called HE-MAN. You can't escape that. So, don't try to. Embrace it. Don't explain it. You don't need to (not too much anyway).

Your main character is called HE-MAN. Deal with it. Make people believe that's not a problem within the context of the universe he exists in. What you are creating for us is a brief window into a strange, new world that we've never seen before.

A place where magic and technology and guys named Stinkor actually exist.

Play up to that.

There's always been something compelling about these weird characters and the world they inhabit which nobody has really successfully captured the essence of outside of the 80s box art and early mini comics.

Marvel Studios have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that you don't have to be scared of the source material - that you can totally pull off a goofy character like Thor or Captain America or Iron Man and make it work. While these guys were reasonably well known for decades, they weren't exactly the heavy hitters of Marvel Comics sales wise. They were flagship characters, sure, but ask any kid on the street who they'd wanna be and I doubt, "Thor" or "Iron Man" were in the Top 5.

Now, they are. Why? 'Cause they embraced the core of the characters and made it work within the context of the universe they created.

I guess what I'm saying is can Skeletor be visually terrifying but occasionally a bit Filmation-era silly? Sure!

Does Battle Cat talk? Screw it! Why not?

Does Snout Spout have a cameo on screen? YES.

You have a bunch of cool designs. You have a menagerie of instantly recognisable characters. You might have to change things here and there but at the end of the day, I want to see Trap Jaw in all his glory. I don't care how he became Trap Jaw, I just want him to be AWESOME.

I want to get chills when I see these characters on the big screen for the first time. I want Eternia to look scary, dark and unnaturally overcast and for Castle Grayskull to be absolutely EVIL looking but I want to see weird half-robot men and cosmic enforcers with laser guns flying around.

I want to see Prince Adam wear pink and that's not such a big deal.
I want Teela, Evil-Lyn and The Sorceress to KICK ASS without resorting to boring stereotypes or failing the Bechdel Test. (Let's not forget Queen Marlena is an Earth Astronaut! She's great!)
I want Beastman to be absolutely savage and frightening but endearingly stupid at times.

Obviously, He-man is a pretty important character and you can't really shy away from him, but what makes him work is his amazing supporting cast. And what makes it endlessly interesting is that it's really all about Skeletor. It always has been. A movie of this genre is only ever as engaging as its villains.

And, you've got your work cut out for you buddy, because the one thing MOTU has in spades is absolutely no shortage of villains, for five movies let alone one, so choose wisely, but don't be afraid to use a bunch of the first and second tier types with reckless abandon.

Feel free to throw in an end credits sequence nod to an 80s Filmation Moral Epilogue. You can make this work.

If you're worried that your vision of the MOTU movie is going to upset some fans or not connect with the wider audience, that fear means you are probably doing something right. Keep at it, pal.

I feel like you've got this.

But just in case, I thought I'd add in my five cents so we can guarantee seeing She-Ra (which you've naturally, adequately sewn the seeds for throughout the first film) in the sequel and her own inevitable spin-off film.

You're either on the cusp of being about to make the next big, cinema-universe based franchise or a one-off cult classic that people will remember for the next 50+ years because it was so damn strange.

Either way, I know you know how important this is.

Sure, you could make some G.I. Joe movies or Transformers movies and they'll make some money regardless. But wouldn't you like to make the definitive 80s Toy Line film? The one that what's left of all the rest that follow will want to copy?

Yeah, you do.

It's exactly the right time for a great Masters of the Universe movie. And I think you know how.

Good Journey,

yr pal,


p.s. If you're not already going to involve Alan Oppenheimer, John Erwin, Melindy Britt, Erika Scheimer, Frank Langella or Dolph Lundgren in some way, you wanna get on that too. A little bit of fan service cameo never hurt nobody.

Kellan Lutz is gonna do a great job as He-man. Don't worry about it.
Picture Source: The Frisky.


  1. Not much of this sounds like very good advice. No disrespect but I hope he goes in another direction completely.

  2. Then it would not be He-Man and indeed Masters of the Universe if he went a different direction! In which case he should drop the project completely! Continuity is the route you wanna take when dealing with established storylines!