By the power of Grayskull, how the heck do you turn a hero famous for a whimsical cartoon into a credible action hero? You first have to make him real, “Grayskull” screenwriter Justin Marks told MTV News.
“I grew up on the ‘He-Man’ cartoon and watched ‘He-Man’ six days a week. The notion that I think we most took from the cartoon are the characters, and trying to find a way that is true to them,” he said of his planned adaptation, which is currently in development at Warner Brothers. “Now, at the same time, we had to come up with why that is the way it is. I mean you’re talking about sword-and-sandal meets science fiction meets fantasy meets everything, and how does that all kind of blend into the same world? And so we had to come up with very specific rules that explained why Trapjaw looks the way he looks, and why Cyclops — who is awesome — looks the way he looks.”
Call it the “Batman Begins-ification” of He-Man, the shift of tone that helped make “The Dark Knight” so wildly successful, and is now being copied in varying degrees with reinventions of characters as diverse as Robocop, James Bond, and Red Sonja.
It’s an approach Marks is using on “Grayskull,” as well, he said, to help explain some of the sillier aspects to the characters.
“The script is very true to the characters — we’re not talking about putting nipples on the Trapjaw suit. But we had to come up with a reason again why Trapjaw would actually not just be something that’s totally absurd, but why he would need those bionic parts added to him,” Marks insisted. “Which gives a sort of sense of where [the movie] is going in some way.”
Given a realistic base, Marks said he has more latitude in creating He-Man’s world of Eternia — free to create an epic universe unlike “anything we’ve ever seen before on a visual level.”
All fine and good, but is a more realistic “He-Man” a better “He-Man”? Sound off on your thoughts below.