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The Hollywood Reporter

‘Masters of the Universe’ Movie Eyes Travis Knight as Director

By Borys Kit

February 13, 2024

Travis Knight just may have the power.

The LAIKA CEO and part-time filmmaker is in early talks to direct the long-in-the-works live-action adaptation of Masters of the Universe for Amazon MGM Studios, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.

Knight isn’t coming alone. Chris Butler, a longtime Knight and LAIKA collaborator who wrote and co-directed ParaNorman and wrote Kubo and the Two Strings, among other projects, has been brought on to rewrite the script. Over the years the project had drafts from David Callaham and Aaron and Adam Nee.

Escape Artists’ Todd Black and Jason Blumenthal, who have been with the projects for decades, are producing along with Mattel’s Robbie Brenner.

Amazon MGM had no comment.

Hollywood has long been trying to get the toy line centered on Prince Adam, the young man who becomes the muscular He-Man once he gets the Power Sword in his hands and says the words, “By the power of Grayskull…,” on the big-screen for decades. In recent times, the project moved from Sony to Netflix to Amazon MGM, which still may not have a closed deal for the rights but is clearly close to getting them. The sword-and-sorcery property remains expensive but highly desirable, and Amazon is said to like it as something that brings in fathers, from the generation that grew up on the cartoons and original toys, and their kids.

Knight runs LAIKA, the fabled Oregon-based stop-motion animation company. However, he has also made forays into directing live-action, making his debut with Bumblebee, a Transformers spin-off that surprised Hollywood observers and critics for being more coherent and more character-focused than the main Transformers movies. Knight has been in the mix for other features, including The Six Million Dollar Man, but none of those projects have come to fruition.

Knight is repped by CAA. Butler is repped by UTA and attorney Rob Szymanski.