|Masters of the Universe (1987) "He-Man" concept art by William Stout|
Check out Masters of the Universe (1987) concept art by William Stout!
Every Friday I try and feature artwork from a classic of science fiction cinema or television. This week's "Flashback Friday" post is on Masters of the Universe (1987).
There are very few movies based on toys that are successful. G.I. Joe is the exception rather than the rule. One film that was based on the insanely popular Masters of the Universe toy line continued the trend of unpopular films. But the director, Gary Goddard, had lofty ambitions. Instead of making a rip-off of Conan the Barbarian (which the toy line actually was) he set out to create something similar to the Jack Kirby Marvel comics like "The New Gods." Goddard told artist John Byrne,
"Your comparison of the film to Kirby’s New Gods was not far off. In fact, the storyline was greatly inspired by the classic Fantastic Four/Doctor Doom epics, The New Gods and a bit of Thor thrown in here and there. I intended the film to be a 'motion picture comic book,' though it was a tough proposition to sell to the studio at the time. 'Comics are just for kids,' they thought. They would not allow me to hire Jack Kirby who I desperately wanted to be the conceptual artist for the picture…"
We know Jack Kirby did illustrations for a few movies, like Lords of Light, but he's mostly know for his comic book work. While Ralph McQuarrie worked on the film briefly, it was the production designer William Stout who created the final look.
Stout is a professional production designer and concept artist who's worked on classic films like Conan the Barbarian (1982), Pan's Labyrinth (2006) and The Prestige (2005).
Click on the images to enlarge.
William Stout was originally hired to storyboard the film and transitioned to concept design but, when production designer Geoffrey Kirkland left, he got the job.
He-Man.org and MOTUmovie.com
See more of William Stout expansive body of work at http://www.williamstout.com.
Click on the links if you want to see more of William Stout's work or Masters of the Universe artwork on my blog.
What do you think of the concept art? If you've seen Masters of the Universe what do you think of the movie?
Official Masters of the Universe Synopsis
"Planet Eternia and the Castle of Greyskull are under threat from the evil Skeletor (Frank Langella) who wants to take over the planet. A group of freedom fighters, led by the heroic He-Man (Dolph Lundgren) are accidentally transported to Earth by a mysterious Cosmic Key which holds the power to make Skeletor all-powerful. Once on Earth, He-Man joins alliances with two teenagers as they attempt to find the key and return home."
Directed by Gary Goddard
Cinematography by Hanania Baer
Production Design by William Stout
Starring Dolph Lundgren, Frank Langella, Meg Foster, Billy Barty, Courteney Cox
Release Date: August 7, 1987
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