M.A.S.K: The Movie:

Posted: August 4, 2012 in Uncategorized

I thought I’d have some fun with this post in an effort to inspire myself elsewhere.

This all comes from having commented on a Last Exit to Nowhere Facebook page update, whereby it has been mentioned that a new Masters of the Universe movie is in the pipeline. The question was posed as to which old cartoons we’d like to see make it to the big screen.

I was really glad to see there was a fair bit of support for my call, M.A.S.K. For those who don’t remember it, it was a cartoon back in the 80s (you knew I was going to say that, didn’t you?) concerned with a couple of specialist teams in vehicles which could change from one type to another (intentionally airborne or amphibious road vehicles being the staple. Mobile Armoured Strike Kommand, or M.A.S.K, were our heroes (and you know, I think we could possibly look at a better acronym?) and the villains, V.E.N.O.M: the Vicious, Evil Network of Mayhem (which could definitely do with a better acronym if they updated it). All were experts in various fields, whether technical or physical, though the real appeal for me was that almost anyone could have put on one of those masks and done something cool. I’m imagining the possibilities already.

Naturally I’m fully aware that this being in the usual category of a giant TV advert, it’s not as simple as just dumping an awesome script on some exec’s desk and hoping your dreams come true. Oh, no. They’d clearly have to release a whole new range of toys for it – and if Transformers are anything to go by, it would be a healthy mix of re-workings of the old favourites, and some completely new stuff. I would personally welcome both.

But just because we’d be looking at a two-hour marketing drive, doesn’t mean it can’t be a good one. In fact, of all the recent remakes of old children’s toys, this has the most story potential if you ask me. With G.I. Joe, which I’m quite impressed with the treatment of, we are already dealing with elite fighting forces in essence. With Transformers of course, we’re dealing with giant sentient robots, so well out of the human league there – though having said that, in every incarnation of the series or movies, humans have always played a significant role in the successes or downfalls of both the Autobot and Decepticon factions.

But with M.A.S.K, you have a totally different side of things. Somebody I read in the initial comment thread put it very well: ordinary people fighting an extraordinary war. Straight away there is a very decent story premise available;  the cartoon origins can be happily adapted in that the leader of MASK’s younger brother, Andy Trakker, prodigiously developed the tech for the masks, and was killed by Miles Mayhem, our head of V.E.N.O.M. So that’s a decent intro right there as Matt gets a bunch of specialists in to deal with Mayhem and his hired bunch. There’s any number of plots that can be thrown in from there really.

Now I could go on for a while on what kind of vehicles you could see, but I’ll keep it to a few. Thunderhawk, having seen the latest (albeit brief) Knight Rider incarnation, could be a triumph of CGI, though I suspect all the grief would revolve around selecting the right vehicle for it. My choice would possibly be a Lamborghini Reventon, just on the basis that the shape lends neatly to a shift to a jet aircraft.


Though that would of course be a key sponsorship choice in itself – car companies get to make a fortune on their product placement – which Casino Royale was a triumph of.

Switchblade, being Mayhem’s vehicle of choice, doesn’t need to be based on anything. It just needs to be done well. Shark is awesome – though particularly James Bond, and I believe based on an old Porsche 928. Easy enough to bring into the 20s. Jackhammer is essential, and can effectively remain as is. I’m sure GMC or Chevrolet would only be too happy to step in there. Clearly there are more, but decent bikes can happily be done.

Once I started this post, I realised it was going to be a long one as I was having far too much fun talking about it. So, I’ve split it into two parts. The second features the bit I had most fun with – a potential casting couch. I’ll post that up soon!

  1. As something of an aside from the main piece, I did search quite extensively for a better article on the Casino Royale deal with Ford, and wasn’t overly happy with any of them for this. Ford were basically responsible for every vehicle in the film in some capacity pretty much; when you take into account that at the time they owned Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover and of course Aston Martin, it’s a fair chunk. Watch it again and see what you spot. Anyway the point was, I have this thing about the bad guys driving Jags. It holds true here, just as it did back in the days of The Sweeney. This pleases me.

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