Sunday, December 16, 2007

Scott on He-Man and Kirby's Fourth World (Comment Pull Quote)

Scott wrote in response to a comment by Christian in Free Form Comments this week that He-Man was originally supposed to be as adaptation of Jack Kirby's Fourth World:

I think it's my understanding that the script for the Masters of the Universe was originally supposed to be an adaptation of the fourth world/New Gods but due to some sort of copyright issues it was shelved and then adapted to the Masters of the Universe movie. Makes sense, the device that creates portals in the movie would have been the motherbox. One more clue to the Masters movie being 4th world: At one point, Skeletor disintegrates a henchman with eye-beams,a la Darkseid's Omega Beams.

How did I get this far into the comic book world and HAVE NO IDEA ABOUT THIS? How much of my brain would turn to piles of colored powder if I rented the He-Man movie to watch it again after many years just because I want to see the remnants of a FOURTH WORLD movie?


scott91777 said...

Ok, according to Wikipedia, I may not be right. The version on there is that the writer (or whoever) WAS a big fan of Kirby and WAS influenced in his version of the He-Man screenplay by 4th world (as well as Kirby's other works). Apparently, he had even befriended Kirby and wanted to bring him in to do design work on the movie.

Either way, Geoff, if you watch the movie, It's still a rip-off or homage to 4th world... take your pick.

Thacher said...

A while ago the He-Man movie was on TV and I started watching it for nostalgia's sake. It was then I realized that the teenagers were Lt. Paris from Voyager and Courtney Cox. I realized this while they were in a van listening to the song "I'm Living in a Box (a Cardboard Box)." I think it almost made my head implode.

I'd never heard that about the 4th World connection, but it kind of makes sense, as the movie doesn't really have that much to do with the He-Man cartoon. I remember that making young me kind of bummed.

Tim Doyle said...

This idea about Masters of the Universe being based on Jack Kirby's Fourth World originated from a letter column in John Byrne's Next Men. Byrne was asked to ID his top 3 Superhero movies, in which he names Superman 1 and 2, and MOTUniverse. He defends his 3rd selection by saying (quite unfounded) that it was a screenplay originally intended to be for a 4th World treatment. There are simularities, and you can't deny the screenwriter was a fan of comics, but it wasn't originally intended to be what Byrne said it was.

Also, I bought the MOTUniverse DVD to listen to the commentary track...which should have been hilarious, right? snooze fest. The director had no idea how hilariously awesome the film was.


Jason Powell said...

"He defends his 3rd selection by saying (quite unfounded) that it was a screenplay originally intended to be for a 4th World treatment."

Hmmm ... been a while since I read that letters page, but I'm pretty sure Byrne never makes any unfounded claims about it being a treatment for 4th World. He might say he that he wonders if that's the case. But mostly he just talks about how it is very very similar to "New Gods." (His exact words, as I recall, are "This is Kirby's New Gods, chapter and verse.")

Oh, and "Byrne was asked to ID his top 3 Superhero movies, in which he names Superman 1 and 2" -- as long as I'm being pedantic, this is incorrect as well. Byrne doesn't like Superman 2. In the letters page in question, he named the first Superman film, Masters of the Universe, and The Rocketeer.

James said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
James said...

Yeah, as quoted in , Byrne said: "The best New Gods movie, IMHO, is Masters of the Universe. I even corresponded with the director, who told me this was his intent, and that he had tried to get Kirby to do the production designs, but the studio nixed it."

The article takes that as him incorrectly claiming the production was initially intended to be a New Gods movie, but to me it just reads as him saying the similarities were intentional. Apparently the director wanted a dedication to Kirby in the credits, but the studio took that out, too. Stinkin' studio.

James said...

The deleted post was me, trying to fix the link, but apparently blogger didn't want to let me. Tsk!

Jason Powell said...

Yeah, James, exactly. And there is nothing in the Next Men letters column about Byrne having corresponded with the director. At that point, he was just saying he had noticed how strong the similarities were.

Byrne has said a lot of silly things, but this time I think he's being wrongly accused.

vigo said...

OK, I'm posting here because I don't like to join sites where I don't know anybody, but I want to say this after googling He-Man Fourth World (yes, I saw the connection on my own and only this morning discovered it was in dispute) and nobody has pointed out the shared dialogue between Skeletor and Darkseid that led to my noticing it, and this is the only thread I found that didn't require me to join for money or with an existing "paid" E-Mail acct... Anywho, at the beginning of the MOTU movie, He-Man asks Skeletor how he dares to enter Greyskull and capture the Sorceress. Skeletor (Frank Langella) quickly declares "I DARE ANYTHING! I am SKELETOR!" This is his introduction. In Darkseid's first appearance in the New Gods which I recently read while brushing up on my DCU history in preperation for current events, Orion asks a similar question and Darkseid (keep in mind New Gods premiered in the 70's) gives the exact same answer. "I Dare anything. I am Darkseid."