You know that tiny murmur you hear that always keeps things from being completely silent, even when nothing around you is making any noise? Well apparently that miniscule sound is the clamoring for the toy line and cartoon Max Steel to finally get a feature film adaptation. And while Hollywood itself hasn’t listened, that doesn’t mean Mattel can’t just put this thing together itself. According to The Hollywood Reporter, they’ve enlisted Miami-based production company Dolphin Entertainment to fund the sci-fi-ish flick. Onboard to direct will be longtime Miami Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino.
Just kidding. The actual director, Stewart Hendler, doesn’t inspire a more exuberant reaction though. Not that the man himself is terrible, but I don’t even think Martin Scorsese could make a Max Steel movie exciting. Hendler is responsible for the Bryan Singer-produced sci-fi thriller web series H+, which premiered last year, as well as the web series Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn , based on the bestselling video game. Both of these were much better efforts than his lone feature film, 2009’s horror Sorority Row.
The Max Steel screenwriter, Christopher Yost, has seen a similar upwards rise in quality output, though we have yet to see his work for a film. His only feature screenplay is for Alan Taylor’s upcoming Thor: The Dark World. A comics writer who writes mostly for Marvel, Yost worked on Marvel’s cartoon series X-Men: Evolution before moving on to work with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Wolverine and the X-Men, and most recently Disney XD’s The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.
So yes, the potential is there for Max Steel to be something that will at least be better than Shaquille O’Neal’s Steel. The toy line is a fairly recent one, first hitting shelves in 1999. The look of the toys has changed multiple times over the years, as a different line has been released to coincide with a direct-to-video film series released in Latin America. A cartoon series was created for Kids WB back in 2000, and Disney XD is currently airing a rebooted version.
The story is ostensibly about a teenager named Max who has a power called TURBO energy, which stands for the extremely catchy sounding Tachyon Unlimited Radiant Bio-Optimized energy, and it makes him strong, fast, and capable of super totally tubular stuff! (I assume one of the toy commercials uses that phrase.) Max joins his late father’s secret organization that is set on stopping an evil faction from taking over the galaxy. To assist Max is a little A.I. buddy named Steel, as well as an assortment of different mech suits that allow him to fly and some other shit.
I’m assuming it’s the recent cartoon series that has Mattel invested. The film was originally supposed to be made a few years ago, with Taylor Lautner attached, but the film rights expired and switched back over to the toy company. If they keep a tight budget on this thing and somehow keep it from becoming too overloaded with CGI effects, I think this could possibly be a better movie than even the upcoming Trolls movie.