Variety reporter Justin Kroll revealed on his Twitter account today that filmmakers Mike Cahill (Another Earth) and Jeff Wadlow (Kick-Ass 2) are on the short list to direct Masters of the Universe for Universal Pictures, with a final decision said to come as early as next week.
Another report from The Wrap adds that Chris McKay, who served as the editor of The Lego Movie, and Harald Zwart (The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones) are also in contention for the directing gig. Despite never having directed a feature, Chris McKay is said to have the most momentum at this time.
We reported in January that Rian Johnson (Looper), Joe Cornish (Attack the Block), Andres Muschietti (Mama), Phil Lord and Chris Miller (21 Jump Street) and Kirk De Micco and Chris Sanders (The Croods) were contenders, but The Wrap claims they were never in the mix.
Universal has been searching for a filmmaker to take the reins on this project since October, after Jon M. Chu dropped out. Terry Rossio came aboard to rewrite the script in October, with other writers such as Richard Wenk (The Expendables 2) and the writing team of Alex Litvak and Michael Finch (Predators) previously working on the screenplay.
The project is based on the 1980s animated TV series He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, which centered on He-Man and his battles with the evil Skeletor. The live-action adaptation is said to be set on He-Man's home planet of Eternia, following Prince Adam, who turns into He-Man and tries to stop Skeletor from conquering Castle Greyskull. The TV series previously spawned the 1987 movie Masters of the Universe, which was set on Earth and starred Dolph Lundgren as He-Man and Frank Langella as Skeletor.