Even though Sony announced the release date for the new He-Man movie at Dec. 1, 2019, the directors keep getting replaced. It is clear that Sony wouldn’t want to repeat the mistakes the original movie made, like setting the universe of Earth, there doesn’t seem to be enough time for putting in all the effects and sets required for a fantasy film like this.
While Sony would have to deal with their own troubles, there are few things they must keep in mind to do justice with the franchise.
1) The “No-Kill” rule
One of the biggest issues fans had with Man Of Steel was seeing the murderous side of Superman. Despite having numerous versions of a Superman who is okay with killing, fans still threw a fit. This situation is even more critical with He-Man, who has a “no-kill” rule even stronger than Superman’s.In every canon, he is shown as someone who will never cross that line. Even in the original He-Man movie, he only killed robots. While it is understandable that death could happen in a battle, the important part is that He-Man would never willingly murder someone. At its core, He-Man is a good guy, and he can never take someone’s life.
2) Keep the tone serious
Comic relief is necessary in comic-book adaptations today, yet there is a big difference between the ‘action’ and ‘comedy’ genre. The 80’s cartoon ‘He-Man and the Master of the Universe’ was famous at the time of its release, but today it would prove to be a disaster; it simply had too many laughs.
The 2002 cartoon by Mike Young Productions is the way things should go. Here are some key points to remember while writing the characters for the He-Man movie:
– Cringer may stay as the cowardly pet, but he shouldn’t be a talking pet.
– Orka can keep cracking some jokes here-and-there, but his backstory must be made clear, which involved a cursed sorcerer.
– No sinus-snorts for Horduk.
– Horduk and Skeletor are evil geniuses, so this must reflect in their choice of subordinates.
– He-Man is, as we all know, the most powerful man in his universe. But he should actually struggle against his foes to make things more interesting.
3) Better characterisation of Skeletor
Alan Oppenheimer might have tried his best, but Skeletor is not just a funny evil guy. The man has a tumultuous backstory, one which gives a certain depth to his character. As per the latest canon, he was the jealous brother of King Randor, whose face got burnt by acid during a rebellion against his brother. Hordak saved him and gave him his current appearance. Like Loki, he is not evil because there was nothing else to do; a long history of rejection by the family made him what he is.
4) Keep He-Man and Prince Adam separate
If you thought the whole Superman-Clark Kent disguise was stupid, you haven’t met Prince Adam yet. The original premise of the story was to display a visible change between Adam and He-Man. However, the cartoon only decided to strip him off and give him a darker tan.
The upcoming He-Man movie must keep in mind to keep the two character distinct. While special effects could achieve that, the chances are that it would look sloppy. The better approach would be to cast two different yet similar-looking actors for the roles. A difficult task, but possible.
5) Make it longer than one-shot
The He-Man universe has enough material to spawn multiple films. In fact, it could be more than a trilogy. The first movie could focus on the origins of Prince Adam and Skeletor, setting up the later as the primary antagonist of the remaining films. The second film might focus on the ensuing battle between the two, while also introducing Adam’s sister, She-Ra. The third movie could include the Snake Men as Skeletor’s allies and involve a bit of time travel.
For the fourth installment, one could dig deeper to cover the exploits of Skeletor as he conquers new worlds, while He-Man strives to stop him. The final He-Man movie can focus on the final battle between Skeletor and He-Man. There are also dozens of character you could introduce over the films, making it more interesting.