Who’s evil enough to play Skeletor? Andy gets creative.
He-Man and the Masters of the Universe was a children’s television show based on a toy line. It had a mildly successful run from 1983-1985, and has become popular in modern culture for its camp and homoerotic undertones. This perceived subtext has been lampooned in memes and videos such as 2005’s “He-Man Sings.”
What many non-geeks don’t know is that He-Man was also made into a Dolph Lundgren monstrosity in 1987 called Masters of the Universe. The film had the advantage of saving money on effects and sets by having their hero travel to modern-day America, and it could quite possibly be the inspiration for the god-awful Highlander 2. The movie is good to watch with a few friends, a few bottles of alcohol, and some takeaway pizzas. However, watch it alone, and I can’t guarantee that you won’t want to jump out of the nearest window or set yourself on fire just because you’d find that more amusing than suffering through Masters of the Universe.
But what if we got a new live-action adventure with He-Man? What would be the tone? Who would direct? And who would play the iconic characters? By the power of Grayskull, we have some suggestions!
In my mind, there are only three directors who could pull off a reboot in the public’s eyes and actually get them excited in a Masters movie:
Peter Jackson: Jackson has a huge amount of fantasy films under his belt. Trouble is, he’d probably split it into three four hour-long films.
Guillermo del Toro: If there’s one director who knows the genre inside and out and understands how to shoot it through with fantastic imagination, it’s del Toro. Even with the arguably mediocre Blade II, he STILL executed it with great enthusiasm for the impossible.
Christopher Nolan: Nolan can take a camp idea like a man dressing up as a frickin’ bat and turn it around into a piece of art. Something as schlocky as He-Man and the Masters of the Universe would be a walk in the park for him, with everyone coming out of the cinema talking about how it was the best film since Inception (typical Nolanites). The only problem is that the director does take things too seriously, and his Masters of the Universe may end up like most of his films – with all the fun sucked out of them…
He-Man/Prince Adam – Chris Hemsworth: So sue me if I’m type-casting, but you know Thor is just a flashier version of He-Man (Norse mythology aside), and I can’t think of ANYONE more suited to the part of our thong-wearing, sword-wielding hero.
Man-At-Arms/General Duncan – Tom Hardy: I think Hardy has the right attitude to play Duncan. With his range, Hardy could play fucking Woody Allen if he wanted to. He’s already been pipped to play Elton John.
Teela – Julianne Moore OR Jane Levy: While her choices of films have been questionable, I stand by my suggestion that Moore is a very talented actress, and she has the right look and attitude for Teela. If you want a younger version of the character, than I think Levy (star of the Evil Dead remake) is a promising young star. She is certainly willing to get down and dirty…
Stratos – Cillian Murphy: Don’t ask me why, but whenever I see Stratos, no matter what I do, no matter how hard I try, I always see CAST THIS-regular Murphy in the owl suit. Well, him or Watchmen‘s Patrick Wilson!
Orko – CGI/Seth Green: Okay, well, at least I didn’t pick Rob Schneider this time! He makes a better Snarf from ThunderCats. So just thank your lucky stars! But Seth can be amusing, he’s a true cult icon who probably likes the cartoon, and he’s used to doing voice work.
King Randor – Russell Crowe: Yes, here I go with more obvious type-casting. But do I really need to explain why he’d be good in this role? He’s practically played these parts his whole career. He’s Robin Hood, Noah AND Jor-El! Enough said.
Sorceress of Castle Grayskull/Teela-Na – Tilda Swinton: She played the White Witch in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and nothing says evil sorceress like the androgynous Tilda does. I can’t imagine anyone else in this role.
King Grayskull – Dolph Lundgren: Bring back Dolph! Two reasons – he once played He-Man himself and Lundgren would seem natural and commanding atop the throne.
Skeletor – Ralph Fiennes: If there’s someone who could bring a touch of class to a villain that’s rarely taken seriously, it would be Fiennes. Someone good has to follow in the footsteps of Frank Langella, after all.
Beast Man – Ron Pearlman: Again I may be type-casting, but if this film provided a new take on Beast Man, I think the guy who played Hellboy has the physical stature and gravitas needed for the character (and his casting would be a foregone conclusion if del Toro made it). So long as Perlman promised NEVER to do an Irish accent again.
Evil-Lyn – Angelina Jolie: While I don’t think Angelina has range, she can play cold-hearted bitches quite well, and this is a role I feel fits her like a glove. Evil-Lyn is, well, evil and sultry. Something that Jolie can do in her beauty sleep.
That’s all, this time! If you have some better ideas or want to know who I’d consider for a character missed out, I’d be happy to comply and potentially infuriate you. Just post a comment below or on our Facebook page.