After years of failed attempts, a new “Masters of The Universe” live-action film is finally in the works. Both Warner Bros. and Sony Pictures developed different incarnations of the movie over the years, but following the success of Kevin Smith’s new animated series, “Masters of The Universe: Revelations,” the property has now found a new home at the streaming giant Netflix and seemingly, a second life.
Yesterday, Variety revealed that young actor Kyle Allen (“West Side Story”) has been selected to play an orphaned version of Prince Adam in the new live-action movie at Netflix with Mattel Studios producing. Allen replaces Noah Centineo (“Black Adam”), who had been cast in the role but exited the project some time ago due to extended production delays.
The Nee Brothers (the upcoming “The Lost City”) are still attached to co-write and direct the project carrying over from the Sony incarnation. The duo worked on the script with superhero genre screenwriter Dave Callaham (“Shang-Chi,” “Wonder Woman 1984,” “Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse”). While “Masters of The Universe” is heading to Netflix in most markets, Sony Pictures is said to be still distributing the pic in China.
Deadline adds production aims for a summer start date and, in theory, could be ready for a 2023 release. In the original 1980s cartoon series, He-Man is the hulking alter-ego of Prince Adam that wields a magic sword and uses it to transform into the muscle-bound hero with the phrase “By the power of Grayskull…I have the power.” It takes place on the bizarre alien planet Eternia, a setting that mixes fantasy/magic and monsters with high-tech science fiction elements.
However, a new synopsis from Netflix seems to tease a possible Earthbound element:
“An orphan named Adam discovers he is a prince destined to be the savior of a faraway land and must quickly learn of his power and the importance of saving his true home from an evil force.”
Swedish action star Dolph Lundgren originally played the He-Man role in Cannon Films’ disastrous 1987 box office flop that featured a young Courtney Cox and character actor Frank Angelo as the evil villain Skeletor in heavy makeup. The poor reception of “Masters of The Universe,” which mostly took place on Earth thanks to a musical teleportation device, was considered the final nail in the studio’s coffin.
Given the bad luck with the last live-action attempt, it’s understandable why it took so long to get “Masters Of The Universe” resurrected on the big screen again. Let’s hope this version fares better.