In 1986 as production designer for the film Masters of the Universe, I hired Jean Giraud to solve some of our film’s more difficult design problems (he was living in Santa Monica at the time, working on and trying to raise money for his own film project). It was a joy to collaborate with Giraud. Among other elements, I assigned him the tasks of re-designing the lead character, He-man, as well as the Sorceress. Giraud also came up with concepts for the throne room, the center of power to all of the universe.
In his re-design of He-man (played in the film by Dolph Lundgren) Moebius completely modernized the look of the character, making him visually hip and relevant for the audience of that time. Jean came up with a brilliant concept for He-man’s armor. He theorized that the armor was made from scraps of metal and machinery picked up from the battlefield and then strapped to his body. Unfortunately, I had to fight Mattel (the toy company that produced the Masters of the Universe toy line) every step of the way to even get a watered down version of this design on the screen.
Giraud’s throne room design (I’ll try to find a copy of this design and post it in the future) included a row of what I referred to as “space gods” lining the walkway to the throne. Below the walkway was a series of gargoyle-like creatures. I picked up on Jean’s concept immediately and incorporated it into my set design. Since power is neither inherently good nor bad — it’s what you make of it — both the yin and the yang of power needed to be represented in that room.
Giraud created magnificent concept art for George Lucas and Ron Howard‘s Willow (1988).
He then wrote the story and produced concept art for a Japanese animated feature version of Winsor McKay’s classic, dream-like comic strip Little Nemo in Slumberland (1989). That same year Jean contributed creature designs to James Cameron‘s The Abyss, working once again with Ron Cobb.
Giraud contributed character and other designs to Space Jam (1996). Luc Besson’s 1997 science fiction feature The Fifth Element was production designed by Moebius and the creator of the French sci-fi comic book series Valerian, Jean-Claude Mézières.
Eventually, a Lieutenant Blueberry film was made to mixed reviews.
Jean contributed this painting (see above) to raise financial interest in the film at Cannes. I don’t know whether or not Giraud had any involvement in the making of the actual movie (Jean has no imdb credit on this film), ultimately shot and released as Renegade in 2004. It ended up starring Vincent Cassel as Mike Blueberry — not Martin Kove.