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Thread: Evan Daugherty Talks About His Experience With "Grayskull"

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    Council Elder Tallstar's Avatar
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    Evan Daugherty Talks About His Experience With "Grayskull"

    He was the writer when the movie rights were with Warner Bros.

    So that means he just kept your script handy in case any random opportunity came up where it could be used?

    Yeah. But after six months it became clear that that wasn't a real thing. He was like, "I like the script, I like the writing — but I don't get it, is this a fairy tale? Is it action / adventure?" After six months it died out and my short film wasn't taking off either. So I decided, with a heavy heart, to move back to Dallas. I just decided for a three-week period before a grant deadline to write a script called called Shrapnel [which later became the DeNiro / Travolta thriller Killing Season. It did not win that grant. But I was just like, "This is pretty good, can I do something with this?" So I submitted it to some screenplay competitions and it won one of those, and that got me a manager, an agent, and within three months of winning that, I had my first job, which was doing a draft of the Masters of the Universe movie He-Man at Warner Brothers. That was based entirely on the merits of Shrapnel, and my pitch. You know, to do any job in Hollywood you come in and you do like a 15-minute pitch.

    So basically, a board meeting at Warner Brothers.

    Yup. At later meetings on He-Man, there would be like ten people: me and the director, a couple producers from Silver Pictures, a couple Warner Brother studio executives, and then like four or five Mattel toy executives. I remember I got in trouble at one of those — they chastised me for putting She-Ra in. It's the same franchise but it's a different set of rights, so you had to option She-Ra separately. I remember the Mattel executive saying, "We feel like we made it clear that you can't put She-Ra in this." Sucks. Anyway. It didn't go anywhere. Most scripts that get written in Hollywood don't go anywhere. There was another dead spot of nine months where I just didn't get any more jobs, until I dusted Snow White And The Huntsman off. I don't wanna say I'd forgotten about it, but I saw that that Disney's [2010] Alice In Wonderland had made literally a billion dollars at the box office and was like, "I have something kind of like that." As soon as [that] happened, everybody wanted it. We hooked it up with the same producers as Alice in Wonderland. You create a package in Hollywood — we attached the producers, and they attached a hot commercial director named Rupert Sanders to direct it.
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    Is there any hint for what this script was about?

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    Heroic Warrior Krueger's Avatar
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    Wow, I didn't know that about She-Ra and He-Man being separate. Maybe that's changed now? I find that a bit of a bummer.

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    Cobra Saboteur Firefly's Avatar
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    It makes it sound like there won't be She-Ra in a new MOTU movie no matter who is doing it (at least the first one, anyways).

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    Heroic Warrior Eternian-King Paul's Avatar
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    Any way you slice it, She-Ra is an absolute.

    He-Man seems to work very well on his own, looking at the filmation show, but it is a weak story of He-Man vs Skeletor, much like Ridley Scott's first movie 'The Duelists', or 'Highlander' without the head chopping.
    That story has no end to it. It has no beginning either, never did.
    She-Ra never worked, on her own show, she could have had a female to duel with a skull face maybe you could have laughed more watching, but only when He-Man makes appearances does it look good to see them fighting galactic invaders, and nothing ado about the on going troubles of Eternia, a planet you can hold on to.

    ..but you definitely need to get the right balance between the siblings, or just give up now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eternian-King Paul View Post
    Any way you slice it, She-Ra is an absolute.

    He-Man seems to work very well on his own, looking at the filmation show, but it is a weak story of He-Man vs Skeletor, much like Ridley Scott's first movie 'The Duelists', or 'Highlander' without the head chopping.
    That story has no end to it. It has no beginning either, never did.
    She-Ra never worked, on her own show, she could have had a female to duel with a skull face maybe you could have laughed more watching, but only when He-Man makes appearances does it look good to see them fighting galactic invaders, and nothing ado about the on going troubles of Eternia, a planet you can hold on to.

    ..but you definitely need to get the right balance between the siblings, or just give up now.
    Personally i prefer He-Man to stay on Eternia fighting against wizards and monsters, instead to go to space and play Luke Skywalker. The past experience says that every time that MOTU got out of Eternia was a disaster (see the 87's movie and the New Adventures). Eternia is like Middle Earth, a world with such depth, history and mystery, that any creative director could bring an awesome trilogy if he wants to.
    She-Ra on the other hand is working better as a Cosmic character because of the Horde. But He-Man out of Eternia is not a good idea. You will have to give him pants, and stripping him from any kind of Sword and Sorcery or Fantasy element for making work to. But doing so, he will not be He-Man anymore, at least as we know him. So separating She-Ra from He-Man and giving them different purposes, is not a bad idea, (especially if you recall the mess that Mattel is combining with the MOTUC canon). It's actually what the Filmation cartoon did.
    Last edited by granamyr80; August 9, 2014 at 09:12am.

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    Loco Motu Vato ehenyo's Avatar
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    Seriously? She-Ra has to be optioned separately?? Yeah, I may not work in the toy business, but I don't think this matters. If this is still the case, Mattel is overvaluing both properties, and they'd be better off rolling them into one (like Classics) and the current comic. Tallstar, as usual, nice find.
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    Heroic Warrior Mick.Jeep's Avatar
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    I know there are many pop fans, but for me this is a good thing. Hopefully she-ra won't be in this movie. I know this toy line was built on greed and she-ra is the prime example of that greed.

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    Ally of the Rebellion Robin Hood's Avatar
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    Not a good thing to hear.

    If MOTU is going to have a successful movie in a market where there are several competing more widely known franchises it has to do something unique to get noticed that isn't being done by the other superhero movies out there. Having both He-Man and She-Ra as sibling equals, with contrasting backgrounds and fighting for their lives and the future of their worlds could have set MOTU apart and made a great movie. This issue of rights needs sorting or it will reduce the possibilities available to any script writer and make producing a successful and great movie so much harder.
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    Heroic Warrior Krueger's Avatar
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    Yeah, I really don’t like this. I’ve always been of the opinion that the whole She-Ra story would make great sequel material.

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    That was in other times (before Playground), the reality today are the comics from DC.
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    She Ra's okay, but as a fan of the pre-Filmation era I don't have much use for her. Her background would have to he completely reimagined to fit in my preferred motu world.
    Last edited by Kelgaard; August 25, 2014 at 08:50pm.

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    Council Elder Tallstar's Avatar
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    I've said this before, but I think it would be a really smart and bold move for Mattel to start with a She-Ra movie first that eventually leads into MOTU. The male action hero/superhero genre is so oversaturated that it's going to be difficult for them to make a MOTU movie that doesn't come across as a copycat or "so 5 years ago" to the general public. And even if it does manage to turn a profit with that status, chances are high that it would barely be remembered 5 years later. Moreover, in general, the story, acting and cinematography are only half the formula for a successful franchise. The timing and marketing needs to be right, too. She-Ra would allow them a space to make an impact, because really it's probably been about 10 years since anyone has attempted the big-budget female comic book/superhero genre. (i.e. Catwoman) There have been plenty of successful action-heroine movies as of late however, which shows the potential for a She-Ra movie.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tallstar View Post
    I've said this before, but I think it would be a really smart and bold move for Mattel to start with a She-Ra movie first that eventually leads into MOTU. The male action hero/superhero genre is so oversaturated that it's going to be difficult for them to make a MOTU movie that doesn't come across as a copycat or "so 5 years ago" to the general public. And even if it does manage to turn a profit with that status, chances are high that it would barely be remembered 5 years later. Moreover, in general, the story, acting and cinematography are only half the formula for a successful franchise. The timing and marketing needs to be right, too. She-Ra would allow them a space to make an impact, because really it's probably been about 10 years since anyone has attempted the big-budget female comic book/superhero genre. (i.e. Catwoman) There have been plenty of successful action-heroine movies as of late however, which shows the potential for a She-Ra movie.
    This is not a bad idea. Especially if it would give the chance to separate She-Ra from He-Man, and eventually could open the road for a possible Adam-less, pre-filmation, barbarian MOTU movie. And really He-Man and She-Ra, don't need to be siblings in every version of MOTU. Even in the MYP series there was a rumor that they were not going to be siblings.

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    Or they could just make Teela the main character in her own film.

    Teela: Warrior Goddess.

    I think her story is just as interesting as He Man's or She Ra's.

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    Heroic Warrior Eternian-King Paul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by granamyr80 View Post
    Personally i prefer He-Man to stay on Eternia fighting against wizards and monsters, instead to go to space and play Luke Skywalker. The past experience says that every time that MOTU got out of Eternia was a disaster (see the 87's movie and the New Adventures). Eternia is like Middle Earth, a world with such depth, history and mystery, that any creative director could bring an awesome trilogy if he wants to.
    She-Ra on the other hand is working better as a Cosmic character because of the Horde. But He-Man out of Eternia is not a good idea. You will have to give him pants, and stripping him from any kind of Sword and Sorcery or Fantasy element for making work to. But doing so, he will not be He-Man anymore, at least as we know him. So separating She-Ra from He-Man and giving them different purposes, is not a bad idea, (especially if you recall the mess that Mattel is combining with the MOTUC canon). It's actually what the Filmation cartoon did.
    I'm not saying He-Man goes to Etheria...?!
    ..and I'm certainly not saying he goes to earth or space, although Eternia is in space somewhere, believably.

    The proper story with meaning and structure, has Adam and Adora in the same place, Eternia, period.
    This is because they balance each other the right way. Agreeably or disagreeably.

    (Also if you want to make 10 movies, go ahead, make the mini-comic version, make the version where He-Man makes out with his sister, make the overly gory blood-dripping-from-the-walls version, make the one particular version with Teela as a blonde. Put them all in a box set and then re-release it a few years later with commentary, but don't bicker over it.)


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    Ally of the Rebellion Robin Hood's Avatar
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    Recently, saw this article in a UK news website that states Hollywood are planning to turn to female action heroes to increase takings as film audiences become increasingly female:

    Hollywood turns to girl power to boost box office takings

    So as Tallstar states it would seem to be the opportune time for Mattel to release a She-Ra movie.

    There also seems to be a shortage of good heroines out there to act as competition or role models for a female audience seeking a strong, smart and independent heroine lead that can readily go toe-to-toe with lead villains, take charge, rescue the male heroes and with a story that could span several movies. She-Ra could go far if Mattel handle her well.
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