How to make a MotU film and not jack it up
Added On: November 19, 2018 10:07 pm
Type: Script
Community Series: He-Man (The New Adventures)

RULES

  1. Stay true to the source material.  This universe is a blend of sci-fi and fantasy, meaning it’s essentially Star Wars meets Lord of the Rings.  Tweeking certain elements is one thing (i.e. He-Man can kill some baddies and even wear pants) but complete abandonment of source material is another.  Keep the basics of the characters.

  2. Keep it fun.  Don’t go for Chris Nolan, Dark Knight Trilogy gritty, realism.  Keep it a PG, fun, action, adventure with a dash of camp and comedy.  It’s He-Man so it’s going to be a little on the hokey side but don’t let that aspect run away and get down right corny and plain dumb.  This isn’t “Plan 9” or“Troll 2”; think like the Marvel Universe (Guardians, Ragnarok).

  3. Don’t over power the characters or go over the top with the abilities of the technology and magic.  Everything must have its limits.  Example, He-Man may be the most powerful man in the universe but if you overpower him, nothing will seem to be a challenge or struggle.  Good conflict is the essence of good story telling.

  4. Keep out the SJW, multi-culturalism, and feminism!  This cannot be emphasized enough.  This is destroying all of Hollywood.

  5. If it doesn’t work in live action, don’t do it.  Example, if Orko looks too corny or has to be altered outside of his basic character to work in live action, don’t put him in.

  6. Don’t try to cram in too much into a film; trying to accomplish everything you want to put into the story of the franchise in one film clutters it up, can make it confusing, and might not leave enough for sequels or may not make people want one.  By the same token, don’t put too little content in; this will draw it out, make it boring, and ruin pacing.  Keep a good pace but don’t try to tell too much of the whole story in one film.  Don’t develop the characters too fast. Main characters in first film Adam/He-Man and Teela, have them grow and develop some in first film and leave some for the future of the franchise.  Take as many films as you want; don’t be trapped into a “trilogy.”

  7. Skeletor must be main villain infirst film.  This goes along with staying true to source material.

  8. Simply look at what is working and is successful and what is crashing and burning. Follow the model of success; don’t make it a Star Wars VII/VIII, G.I.Joe, or new Ghostbusters.

 

SET UP

              Enter on Eternia in the middle ofbattle between King Randor’s forces and Hordak’s Horde.  Hordak has attacked because he has gained intelligence that Queen Marlena has just given birth and the location of a hidden back entrance to gain entrance to Randor’s palace.  The mass frontal assault is a diversion.  He gives the mission to kidnap the newborn child to his most loyal lieutenant, Keldor.  Keldor’s small group includes Evil-Lyn and is not part of the main attack.  Keldor believes he is kidnaping the child before the palace is breached so the child will not be harmed and has been given a container so that it will be protected for delivery to Hordak.  True that Hordak does not want the child harmed but he’s not so interested in taking the palace.  Hordak breaks off from the battle with another small group because he has also discovered the location of Castle Grayskull and plans to capture it while Randor is focused on the direct attack into his land towards the palace and capital city.  Castle Grayskull’s location is known only toa few including King Randor and the captain of his personal guard.  It’s hidden by magic and one essentially needs to walk right up to it to find it.  To most who don’t know it’s location, it’s thought to be long destroyed or a myth, never to have existed to begin with.  It holds great power, some believe the greatest power in the universe.  A falcon flying overhead sees a group with Hordak break off and head in a direction that can only mean they’re going for Castle Grayskull.  The falcon is the Sorceress and telepathically communicates with Randor informing him of Hordak’s movement.  Randor tells Sorceress to return to Grayskull and prepare her spell to trap the Horde back in the territory around Snake Mountain.  Sorceress has developed a spell that will wall in the Horde for good.  Randor’s plan is to push them back and have the Sorceress use Castle Grayskull’s power to raise the enchanted wall but itwill take all the power of Grayskull and Sorceress’ ability.  Randor orders the captain of his personal guard to stop or at least slow down Hordak’s movement to Grayskull.  The guards have been held in reserve to this point and move out.  Taking human form upon returning to Castle Grayskull, Sorceress begins preparation.

              Keldor and his group gain entryinto the palace, make their way to the Queen’s chambers.  Upon forced entry, they find Marlena has given birth to twins.  Fight ensues with some guards who get dispatched.  They place the girl, Adora, in the container but have to carry the boy, Adam.  More guards arrive, Marlena is able to retrieve Adam but is injured in the struggle.  Keldor and company get away with Adora.

              Hordak and his group are intercepted near Castle Grayskull by Randor’s guards.  Sorceress notices the engagement but continues preparation of her wall spell.  After a little time, using remote viewing, it begins to not look good for Randor’s guards.  In the ensuing fight, all are killed until only one guard and Hordak himself remain.  Sorceress transforms back into a falcon and flies to the fight.  The last guard puts up a fight but is ultimately no match for Hordak.  As he is about to kill the guard, Sorceress lands transforming to human as she does.  Hordak exclaims, “Sorceress!  But how-“

              “Am I walking around outside of Grayskull?” Sorceress replies then blasts him with a magic bolt, sending him flying back and stunned.  She goes to the wounded soldier thanks him and explains she can’t help him here but she can if he can make it to the Castle.  She points in the direction but he sees nothing but a mountain.  She says to follow her, transforms back into a falcon, and flies in the direction of Grayskull.  The injured soldier begins to make his way.  Sorceress can only leave Castle Grayskull as a falcon but an amulet will allow her to be in human form outside for limited time.  The amulet uses power from Grayskull to do this and she needs all the power she can spare for thewall spell, which is why she couldn’t stay long with the soldier or use magict o heal him.

              The Horde begins to retreat andRandor sends more troops to keep Hordak from the Castle.  Hordak sees he will not be able to get toGrayskull and heads back to Snake Mountain. His forces return and Keldor is pleased with himself at his success,especially since the main force failed to take the palace, still thinking thatwas the objective.  As they wait,Evil-Lyn suggests they over throw Hordak, thinking they can get vast majorityof the Horde to follow Keldor, in part since he succeeded in his task andHordak failed at his.  Keldor dismissesher idea and reaffirms his loyalty to Hordak. He also states Hordak is too powerful to kill.  Evil-Lyn mentions they could use a rune stoneshe has acquired that would allow them a one time, one way portal to another world.  Keldor scolds her for any disloyal thoughtalso mentioning the power of the rune stone shouldn’t be wasted but doesnothing more, knowing her loyalty and love for him will keep her from actingwithout his consent.

              When Hordak returns, Keldorhappily presents Adora and informs him there were twins.  Happy to have the one but displeased Keldordid not get both and upset that he didn’t know there were twins beforehand.  He tells Keldor this is half a success andhalf a failure.  He explains he cannot beseen tolerating failure, even with his most loyal lieutenant.  Hordak then burns Keldor’s head with acid,partly out of frustration for his own failure. He tells Keldor, for his half success, he will not kill him.  Hordak jokingly says he should probablychange his name to “Skeletor” to match his new look.  Hordak is ultimately confident that Keldor’sloyalty is deep enough for this treatment to not matter.  Evil-Lyn is shocked and appalled havingwitnessed this, especially given that the only success they’ve had in the battlecame from Keldor.  She approaches Keldor,who is still writhing in pain, after Hordak leaves and asks, “Are you stillloyal to him?”

              King Randor returns to his palaceto find the Queen injured and Adora gone. He reassembles his troops to rescue his daughter.  Telapathically communicating with Sorceress,he asks how soon the spell will be ready. She replies soon.  He tells hernot to execute it until he gives the command. Randor and his men move out.

              Hordak is admiring his prize,Princess Adora, (eyeing a piece of jewelry with “Adora” printed on it that ison the infant) as Evil-Lyn and Keldor approach. Hordak turns and is about to greet them but the two hit him with rays ofmagic to send him to another realm using Evil-Lyn’s stone.  Hordak exclaims, “What are you doing?!” as heis temporarily immobilized.

              “I’ve had enough!” Keldor replies.

              “You can’t kill me!” Hordak shoutsconfidently and with anger.

              “I know but I can remove you fromEternia forever,” Keldor calmly explains.

              Hordak’s tone changes to panic, “Keldor,you’re my most loyal-!”

              “You’re right, Keldor was loyal,”he goes on, “but Skeletor bows to no one!”

              Evil-Lyn and Skeletor send Hordakand Princess Adora through the portal but Hordak’s last words are, “I knowwhere Grayskull is!”

              Randor and his troops enter Hordeterritory as a viewing portal opens and Skeletor appears from inside SnakeMountain.  “Kind Randor, you probablydon’t know my face,” Skeletor begins, “so let me introduce myself.  I’m Skeletor. You need not worry about Hordak anymore.”  The portal then shows what Skeletor and Evil-Lynhave done, except seemingly destroy Hordak and Adora, rather than transportthem.  Randor is both crushed and enragedby what he thinks is the death of his newborn daughter.  Skeletor continues and “invites” Randor toSnake Mountain to celebrate the demise of Hordak, wanting a battle on hisground.  Randor contemplates for a minuteafter the portal closes, then orders a withdrawal.  One of his officers begins to proteststarting to say, “We can’t let him-.”

              Randor cuts him off sharply, “Itwon’t bring back Adora!”  Then morecalmly, “And, I have an entire kingdom to think of.”  Wanting revenge on Skeletor but believing anychance to save his daughter is gone and realizing that taking any risk at attackingSnake Mountain could jeopardize all of Eternia, Randor retreats in order tostick to his original plan.  Contacting the Sorceress, he asks if the spell is ready; she says yes.  Knowing she can’t hold the spell on standby forever, his troops withdrawal.  As they leave Horde territory, he tells Sorceress to execute the spell and a large enchanted wall rises behind Randor as he continues home.

              Skeletor, Evil-Lyn, and a numberof his henchmen see the mystic wall appear from Snake Mountain but don’t know what to make of it initially.

              The wounded soldier arrives at Castle Grayskull with the last effort he can muster.  Sorceress helps him inside at the gate.  She gives him a drink, “This will help.  I am in debted to you.”

              “No, I owe you.  You saved my life.”

              “And you saved much more.  I’m the Sorceress of Castle Grayskull.”

              “My name’s Duncan.  I didn’t think this place existed; I had doubts that it ever did.”

              “It is very much real and so am I.  This is where the early members of the Grayskull line of kings ruled from.  I haveve used all the power of this place to entrap the Horde and it will take some time to renew so I cannot use magic to heal you. Stay here until you are well again,” she says kindly.  “I will explain everything; there is time.”

              King Randor returns to a devastated Queen Marlena who is holding Prince Adam.  Although everyone grieves for the loss ofPrincess Adora, both King and Queen know they must stay strong for their son.

              Story picks up 22 yearslater.  Marlena’s injures have preventedher from having any more children.  Duncan, Man-at-Arms, is now Captain of the Palace Guards.

              This set up could be done in thefirst 15-20 minutes of first film and lays the ground work for everything you need.

No other knowledge of what happened to Princess Adora and Hordak is reveled in first film or reason why he wanted the royal child/children.  Adora has a charm or piece of jewelry with her name on it to set up her character in a parallel She-Ra film. 



 

CHARACTERS

Prince Adam:   Strong, athletic and a carefree playboy, immature, and a bit on the spoiled side.  Talented and trained in sports, particularly combat sports but hasn’t faced any real challenges, certainly not real combat or life or death situations.  Good at what he applies himself at, which outside of athletics, isn’t much.  Though he has great potential, especially in leadership and deep down is a good guy, he doesn’t take much seriously.  He’s only known peace and prosperity with no real threats in the kingdom his entire life.  Knowing he’ll have to take the crown and be king one day but shrugging off responsibilities thinking it will be a long time before his father Randor dies and therefore has plenty of time to have fun in life.  Main areas to grow are courage, leadership, and overall maturity.  Grows primarily in courage in the first film.  Finds or is given the power to become He-Man in first film and grows out of who he was but continues to fake no change as Prince Adam to conceal the He-Man alter ego.

Teela: Daughter of Duncan, Man-at-Arms, and (though she doesn’t know it initially) her mother is the Sorceress.  She will not discover this in the firstf ilm.  This should be something for later in the franchise.  Raised by her father in the royal palace, Man-at-Arms has always challenged and pushed her to excel.  Though she is physically strong and athletic for a woman, her primary strengths are in technology and science.  Don’t make her as physical as He-Man or even when he is Prince Adam.  He-Man is the “most powerful man in the universe” so to complement his character, she needs her strengths to be elsewhere.  In addition to being a soldier, Man-at-Arms is also an engineer and has taught Teela about engineering.  She looks up to the King and Queen, especially Marlena since she was raised without her real mother.  Marlena also takes to mentoring Teela having lost Adora and is the one who taught her how to fly.  Teela is a competent but not elite pilot in the first film (gives room to grow through the franchise).  She looks at Prince Adam with a certain level of disdain and often wonders how he could be the way he is with such respectable parents.  She feels he’s been handed too much and she worked for everything she has.  Able to hold her own in a physical fight (possibilities for a one on one fight with Evil-Lyn) and could possibly takeout the average bad guy foot soldier; her character should not be placed in toeto toe physical fights with main bad guy bosses/henchmen that would make her physically equal to them.  Her strengths should be technology (engineering), eventually magic, and even piloting to complement He-Man’s physical strength and leadership.  Her ultimate destiny in the franchise, being the child of Sorceress and Man-at-Arms, is blending technology/science and magic.  Most if not all other characters should primarily use either technology or magic, so this could be her main standout feature and strength as the franchise progresses.  The first film should only touch on her potential in magic.  Possibly build up to one act of magic at the climax of first film.  Possible concept for later in the franchise, she designs a “cosmic key,” a technological device that uses magic to open portals to other worlds.  Also, will not learn Adam becomes He-Man in first film maintaining the same opinion of Prince Adam.  Probably only learn this in last film of franchise when she and Adam/He-Man finally get together as a couple.  Must have vulnerabilities; don’t develop her too fast; don’t make her a Mary Sue!  18 years old in the first film.  Mentally mature for her age and well-adjusted to handle adversity.

Queen Marlena: Originally Marlena Glenn from Earth.  Test pilot for aerospace company and NASAastronaut working on project developing advanced spacecraft.  Was co-pilot on a 3 manned craft that waslost from Earth.  The craft was pulledthrough a portal and made a rough landing on Eternia.  The other 2 crewmen were killed by the Hordeand Marlena was saved by Randor.  It’sknown by Adam his mother is from another world but first film takes place onEternia only.  Already an excellent pilotwhen she arrived on Eternia, she is one of the best on the world in the firstfilm.

Evil-Lyn: Pale skinned with pale, piercing eyes and long, white hair.  Dark hair and dark make up are too cookie cutter and you risk making her look like Enchantress (SuicideSquad) or any of half a dozen other evil, dark witch type characters, so go the opposite direction, though she should have dark clothes.  Mid-20s appearance at the opening of the first film but only mid-30s appearance after the 22 year time elapse; uses magic to age slowly.  Powerful in witchcraft, still capable in hand to hand or with a blade.

King Randor: A soldier and officer for King Grayskull XIV, last of the Grayskull line.  When the King was mortally wounded in battle, he told Randor he had the utmost confidence in Randor’s leadership, that he would beat back the evil forces, and since there was no heir, Randor must take the crown.  Randor leads his forces to victory butinitially refuses the crown.  Others who witnessed King Grayskull bequeath the title to Randor convinced him to take it.

Sorceress (Teena) & Man-at-Arms (Duncan):  The two fall in love after the events of the intro.  Duncan frequents Castle Grayskull in the years immediately following but a few months after they have a child (Teela), Sorceress realizes she will not be able to raise her in Castle Grayskull.  Since Sorceress can’t leave the castle, she convinces Man-at-Arms to raise her himself at Randor’s palace.  Other than Duncan and Sorceress, only Randor and Marlena know who Teela’s mother is; once Adam gains the power of He-Man he also knows this.  Teela’s birthright is to inherent Sorceress’ roll as overseer of Castle Grayskull and the power that comes with it.  Even though there has been peace, Sorceress knows if the wrong person or force knew she has a daughter, it could compromise her position and therefore wants to take every measure that no one finds out.  She is very emotionally connected to Teela and even though it pains her to not have direct contact, she controls her emotions well.  Man-at-Arms has not visited Castle Grayskull or seen the Sorceress in years.  (Update Man-at-Arm's helmet)

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