Even as someone who vaguely remembers the cartoon (at least in re-runs), and enjoys Frank Langella’s performance as Skeletor in the 1980s film, we feel like we have to ask: does anyone actually want a “Masters Of The Universe” movie? The Mattel toyline, a sort of PG-rated space-Conan about warrior He-Man and his friends in their battle against the skull-faced villain, has always seemed fairly generic to us, and we don’t really see that much of a vociferous fanbase for it out there.
But nevertheless, franchise-hungry studios have spent at least a decade developing various versions of the property, with helmers including John Woo, “Kung Fu Panda” director John Stevenson, Jon M. Chu and Jeff Wadlow linked to the project. It’s been a while since we heard any movement on it, and now there’s some good news and bad news for fans, if there are any. In the “one step forward” category, Entertainment Weekly report that Sony have given the film an official release date: it’ll open on December 18th, 2019, head-to-head with an untitled Disney live-action fairy tale movie and Universal’s “Wicked” musical (the studio have also set an “Angry Birds” sequel for September 20th, 2019).
But in the “one step backwards” category (or possibly still a positive, depending on your feelings about the director), the site also report that “Terminator Salvation” director McG, who’s been attached to the project since the start of last year, has now exited the project, and new directors are being sought. Normally, you would think that you’d want to get a director and THEN set a release date, but then, this is a “Masters Of The Universe” movie, so quality may not be the driving force behind the thinking. “Batman Begins” writer David S. Goyer is the latest writer on board, by our count at least the eighth to have been publicly announced on the project — Mike Finch, Alex Litvak, Evan Daugherty, Richard Wenk, Terry Rossio, Jeff Wadlow and Chris Yost came before. That’s always a great sign! You can find out exactly how too many cooks spoil the broth when “Masters Of The Universe” opens a week before Christmas 2019.