Virtually everyobody of a certian generation remembers the 1987 hit Adventures in Babysitting fondly. One of it’s best-remembered scenes is one is the one in which Thor-obsessed child Sara (Maia Brewton) believes the mechanic fixing their car is, in fact, the Asgardian god. But why is the little girl so into Thor? Turns out it’s because director Chris Columbus had no idea who He-Man and She-Ra were.
Speaking with Yahoo Movies, Columbus talked about his directorial debut and how he’d never even heard of He-Man and She-Ra, the characters that Sara was supposed to be in love with. He said:
In the original script, the young girl was obsessed with characters named He-Man and She-Ra...At the time, those characters meant nothing to me. But I was a huge Marvel comic book fanatic, and so I thought Thor would be an interesting character to go with — not having any idea that twenty years from then, all movies would be based on comic books.
We have to fault Columbus here for a lack of research on this one. While He-Man and She-Ra may not have been household names among adults, She-Ra: Princess of Power was still running new episodes in 1987, and both cartoons were heavily syndicated on weekday afternoons. In addition, the Dolph Lundgren Masters of the Universe film had to have been in production around the same time as Babysitting, as it was released in theaters a month later. Although, because that’s the case, they may have actually had trouble getting the rights to use He-man anyway. In the end, Thor was probably a better choice. Even if you're not familiar with the Marvel comics version of the character, everybody knows the name, and can infer the rest.
The young Thor lookalike, named Dawson in the film, was played by a young, and surprisingly full of hair (wig?), Vincent D’Onofrio. No, seriously, check it out.
With a different hairstyle, he could probably have pulled off a He-Man look equally as well. Actually, now we’re wondering if Masters of the Universe would have been a better movie with D'Onofrio in the starring role. No, there was no saving that one.
Thor would, of course, have to wait a couple of decades before getting a proper film of his own, while D’Onofrio has taken up residence in another part of the Marvel universe. We’re still waiting for a decent He-Man or She-Ra movie. Seriously Hollywood, get on that.