Kung Fu Panda Director John Stevenson Taking On He-Man?!

November 19, 2008
Source: Latino Review

Kung Fu Panda Director John Stevenson Taking On He-Man?!

Woops! It looks like Grayskull: The Masters of the Universe isn't as dead in the water as we first thought. Our friends at Latino Review picked up another scoop saying that the film is very much alive and well at Warner Brothers due in thanks to John Stevenson, who might yet direct this live-action version of He-Man. Who is he? His only official directing credit is Kung Fu Panda (which he shared with Mark Osborne), although he does have an extensive background in storyboard art and animation previously. He apparently gave a presentation to the execs at Warner Brothers as well as Joel Silver that impressed the hell out of them. Is Stevenson really the right guy to bring us a live-action He-Man movie? I'm not too sure…

In October, we ran an article saying that the He-Man movie, titled Grayskull: The Masters of the Universe, was pretty much dead for the time being because Warner Brothers didn't get the idea. Before that, we ran an article looking at El Mayimbe's review of Justin Marks' script, which was reportedly a "fanboy masterpiece." It sounded like this could potentially turn out pretty awesome in the end, especially for those who are fans of the He-Man universe, which is why I was hoping it would be greenlit. Now with Stevenson potentially directing, I'm still a bit hesitant. He doesn't seem like the kind of guy that can actually make a great high concept action movie - at least not yet. Maybe he'll direct a few other projects first?

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Reader Feedback - 19 Comments


Im going to reserve judgment on this. Potentially this could be a huge hit alongside other 1980's cartoon movies... transformers *Cough, cough* PLEASE just don't screw this up!

Ammon on Nov 19, 2008


The question isn't whether Stevenson is the right guy. The question is, 'should there be a He-Man movie to begin with?' And the answer is 'no'

Lefthanded on Nov 19, 2008


Stevenson worked on Dark Crystal and Labyrinth even if it was just in the art department....he's seen how to bring something of this scale to life...I'm all for him to direct as long as they keep that script Justin Marks wrote...after that review by Latino Review I don't think it could be done any other way...

Christopher Marc on Nov 19, 2008


I read that screenplay LR post way back...and it sounded awesome. I hope they do that version or something very close. Keep it dark and serious kinda LOTR/Gears of War tech.

Malcolm Edgecombe on Nov 19, 2008


Yeah the script was epic, I would love this, I think the guy can do it given the right budget and writers and people who surround him, look at what Zack Snyder did with the 2nd movie he ever made.

Richard on Nov 19, 2008


yes, the screenplay had a very tight and exciting story.

Matt Suhu on Nov 19, 2008


Hey i'm italian but i'll tell u the Latino review has been dead on more tha once, they got my creadit, and they got the frikkin skoop

BadKarma on Nov 19, 2008


The script was pretty awesome! I have faith in Stevenson. I'm sure he'll disprove many the same way Favreau did with "Iron Man"! I say-- in a world where "Transformers" roam and a "Thundercats" and "Voltron" flick are being developed---then Hell Yeah, bring on the "Masters of the Universe"!!!

Spider on Nov 19, 2008


Any friend of the Kung Fu Panda is a friend of mine.

Cogsworth on Nov 19, 2008


Sweeeet. And here I thought I wouldn't get the chance to see the He-Man movie anytime soon. I'm excited for this. I'm guessing, considering it wasn't Warner who went and looked for him, and instead the other way around, Stevenson must have something really good cooking. That means that he's doing it cuz he wants to and not cuz of the "hefty paycheck."

Alfredo on Nov 19, 2008


good choice.

darrin on Nov 20, 2008


i agree with #10, it may turn out that much better because of that

big r on Nov 20, 2008


Sounds promising, I'm game!

Conrad on Nov 20, 2008


I've learned my lesson about doubting untested directors. I scoffed at "Meet the Feebles" director Peter Jackson before he unleashed the "Lord of the Rings." I did the same to Jon Favreau (to a lesser extent) before he struck gold (and red) with "Iron Man." John Stevenson may not have directed a big live action hit solo, but if he cares enough about the subject matter to have apparently "wowed" studio execs with a presentation, then he has all he needs to have in common with those other directors I mentioned for me to give him a shot.

Outlaw on Nov 20, 2008


So the Masters Of The Universe is getting back on its feet with new director and is Warner Bros still talking on the project and has Mattel know this? I think that Mattel better start talking on suggestions with the Kung Fu Panda director on taking the project. Think of any actors like Travis Fimmel or any actor could play He-Man,lets see how how things turn out. Thank You. BRUCE ACOSTA AUSTRALIA.

Bruce Darren Acosta on Nov 21, 2008


i hope they get this green lit its time to see this taken could be great.

chris on Nov 23, 2008


Of course the movie should be made!!! The only question is: does mr. kum fu padna cock have the balls to bring the most powerful man in the universe back to life? and I'd be willing to guess that the answer is a big fat NO! Warner bros... you guys suck dick... if kum fu cock padna man can bring he-man back then I respect him. but i don't think hhe can because he sucks big hairy camel balls, but he's okay.

John Hooks on Jan 29, 2009


If the man can bring the idea back to life when it seemed to be dead in the water I beleive that is ecxactly the kind of dedication this project needs to make it spectacular and John Stevenson is the only man for the job!

joe on Mar 12, 2009


The screenwriters who penned Robert Rodriguez's upcoming Predators have been hired to write a new Masters of the Universe script. Mike Finch and Alex Litvak of Predators are writing Columbia Pictures' adaptation of Masters of the Universe. The project had previously gone to Warner Bros. John Stevenson, who co-directed Kung Fu Panda, was slated to direct Masters of the Universe, but the project fell apart after the studio and Mattel reached a creative impasse. Columbia nabbed Masters of the Universe this fall, and Mattel has since approved Finch and Litvak's script.

Carl on Apr 19, 2010

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