Max Steel tells the story of teenager Max McGrath, whose high school experience is turned upside down when he discovers that his body inexplicably produces bouts of energy that he can't control. But when he meets and forms a friendship with an alien named Steelwho'll be animated entirely in CG, as seen in this picturehe's able to fuse his energy with Steel's in an unexpected way. ''Max needs this creature to protect him from his own energy and Steele needs that energy to survive,'' explains Hendler of the story by Thor: The Dark World screenwriter Christopher Yost. ''I thought this was a really cool way into this superhero mythology I hadn't seen before.'' It's a far cry from the pitch that Hendler originally received. ''What they presented to me was a really polished, pretty slick kid's cartoon and I was like 'I'm not sure if you sent this to the wrong person,''' he recalls, laughing. ''Because if I were to do it, I wanted to tell a really grounded version of it, from the perspective of what would it be like if this happened to a real teenager? What would his reaction and the fallout of that be?'' Luckily, Mattel and production company Dolphin Entertainment ''loved that idea,'' says Hendler. ''I'm actually kind of shocked that I got to go that way.''