When I was directing MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE and we were just starting on the conceptual ideas, John DeCuir (CLEOPATRA, KING & I, HELLO DOLLY, GHOSTBUSTERS) was the first person that signed on to initiate conceptual work. I had hoped to involve Ralph but he was signed on to Ron Howard’s production of COCOON at the time and was not available. Then about three weeks into MASTERS, Ralph called and said “Cocoon has been put on hold. Might be a week, might be a month, might not resume at all. Do you still want me to work on Masters as I am available, but if I get called back on Cocoon, I’ll have to honor that contract.” So I said yes, come on board. So Ralph joined us but as it turned out only for about three weeks as Cocoon went back into active pre-production and he had to return. But in these three weeks, Ralph did some interesting design work. With his passing last week, I went and dug into my old MASTERS file and found these. I thought fans might like to see them as they have never appeared anywhere before, at least not to my knowledge.
These are more thumbnails showing the early ideas for the opening sequence. We were to be on Eternia and I had wanted originally to give the sense of a true “world”. Various shots were going to show different aspects and “lands” within Eternia, all leading ultimately to GRAYSKULL CASTLE. In my mind, the idea of bringing the Eternians to Earth was a given due to budget and this was the script that I had signed on to make. But I had hoped in a sequel that we would go to Eternia, and my thought was that the world of Eternia should be every bit as interesting as anything in LORD OF THE RINGS (meaning the books of course), or in the world of the Star Wars movies. But to be different, I was pushing more towards a Tolkien-esque world for Eternia.