Despite a risibly poor first attempt with Dolph Lundgren and a lot of aborted efforts in the late aughts, Sony Pictures hasn’t given up on trying to bring their He-Man movie “Masters of the Universe” back to the big screen. After all, imagine all those franchise possibilities if it hits, since aside from “Spider-Man,” Sony is currently the studio sorely lacking in franchises. A recent attempt almost happened with Jon M. Chu, the director of “G.I. Joe: Retaliation,” but he bailed last year. Terry Rossio ("The Lone Ranger" and every "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie) has penned the most recent version of the script and is eager to bring this franchise back to life, and Sony has apparently narrowed down the field for replacement directors.
The Wrap and Variety’s Justin Kroll both revealed some shortlist names this evening and they range from the predictable to the, wtf? While he might have been a big Mattel fan in the 1980s, the biggest headscratcher on the list is indie filmmaker Mike Cahill. He directed “Another Earth,” the high-concept indie that helped he and actress Brit Marling land on the map in 2011. He followed it, and stepped up his game immensely, with the ambitious and high-concept indie “I Origins” that wowed audiences at Sundance earlier this year (our review). It’s not that Cahill isn't ready for franchise world—he is and “I Origins” proves it. It’s that his sensibilities seem to lie in less inherently-corny material (while not quite of that cloth yet, “I Origins” feels like it’s headed towards the same trajectory of intelligent and entertaining work, à la early Christopher Nolan and Rian Johnson).
Names like Jeff Wadlow (the already-forgotten "Kick-Ass 2"), Chris McKay (editor of “The Lego Movie” and a key force behind Adult Swim’s hit series “Robot Chicken”) and Harald Zwart (“The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones," the 'Karate Kid' reboot), are much more expected and probably the way this franchise will land, unless Cahill surprises (and we hope he sticks to what looks like a more prosperous longtail career).
Apparently no deals are in place and other directors may be in the mix. Rumors of directors in the running—Joe Cornish, Rian Johnson, Andy Muschietti, Kirk DeMicco and Chris Sanders (“The Croods”) and Phil Lord and Chris Miller (“The Lego Movie”)—proved to be false.