April 12, 2010 / 12:50 PM / 10 years ago

Scribes take on "Masters of the Universe"

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - The duo who wrote the upcoming “Predators” reboot have been brought aboard a project based on Mattel’s “Masters of the Universe” toys.

Columbia Pictures picked up movie rights to the 1980s property in the fall, when Mattel and Warner Bros. parted ways over creative differences.

The addition of rising scribes Mike Finch and Alex Litvak is the first major move on the movie, and signals the project is being rebuilt from the ground up. While at Warners, “Masters” went through several writers and in latter stages had “Kung Fu Panda” co-director John Stevenson attached.

Getting the go-ahead to tackle any major toy-brand film can be tricky. Depending on the property, writers and directors need to get a thumbs-up from the studio, which then has to win approval from the toy company. In the case of “Masters,” Mattel has story approval.

In their pitch, the scribes attempted to balance a treatment that would convince the studio it was cinematic and keep the toy company satisfied that its characters were being portrayed appropriately.

The ‘80s show, “He-Man and the Masters of the Universe,” centred on blond warrior Prince Adam, who, after uttering the magic words “By the power of Grayskull, I have the power,” turned into the heroic He-Man. He and his allies — Battle Cat, Man-at-Arms and Orko — defended their planet Eternia from the evil forces of Skeletor, who week after week attempted to conquer the fortress Castle Grayskull, which imbues He-Man with his powers.

The Robert Rodriguez-produced “Predators” opens July 9.

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