Netflix is all-in on the Masters of the Universe with two animated projects, and as hinted at several times in recent years, the Sony live-action movie that had Noah Centino attached will be moving to Netflix. Here’s what we know about the live-action Masters of the Universe movie.
As mentioned, Netflix heavily invests in the Masters of the Universe IP. The Mattel franchise first began in the 80s and has seen a resurgence recently, with Netflix producing and releasing two series.
The biggest of the Netflix projects thus far has been the Kevin Smith (and rather controversial) produced animated series called Revelation. Parts 1 and 2 were released in 2021. Netflix released a younger-skewing animated series called He-Man and the Masters of the Universe.
Bubbling away for years, however, has been a live-action He-Man movie, and it looks like it’s headed to Netflix.
History of the Masters of the Universe live-action movie
It’s been years since Sony originally announced it’d be developing a live-action movie so let’s run through all the official news and rumors for the project.
One way or another, the live-action Masters of the Universe project has been developing since 2008, with plenty of names involved in the script and the project over the years.
Warner Brothers initially held the project before it transferred to Sony, with names like John Stevenson, Jon M. Chu, McG, and David S. Goyer involved.
Fast forward to 2019, after years of silence, Noah Centineo (known for Netflix’s To All The Boys franchise) said that he was involved in the project, with it scheduled to release by Sony in cinemas by late 2019. That didn’t come to pass it was delayed, and the project was once again silent.
In early 2020, rumors started swirling that Netflix would board the project, with DiscussingFilm first stating that Netflix will be developing and distributing the movie. It made sense that Netflix would have interest in the project at the time, given it was working on animated projects and had close ties with Noah Centineo.
In April 2021, Noah Centineo announced to Collider that he’d exited the Sony movie.
In July 2021, David S. Goyer spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about the movie, saying he liked the script, adding:
“What I liked the most about it was that it was mostly about a friendship between He-Man and Battle Cat. The idea was there had always been He-Men and different recipients of the Sword of Power, and that Battle Cat had always served at their side. And this was a new He-Man that Battle Cat and many people didn’t think was worthy of the sword. So it was a story of the character earning the sword but, more importantly, earning the friendship of Battle Cat, who just thought this guy was a lightweight. I really liked it. I thought it was a fun story. There was a lot of humor in it, and it creeps up on you because Battle Cat sort of grudgingly accepts him, and it’s Battle Cat’s acceptance of He-Man that gave this version of the story heart.”
The last we heard about the project came in the summer of 2021, with GiantFreakinRobot reaffirming that it’s coming to Netflix and stating that “Netflix moved through multiple scripts before settling on the right idea for Masters of the Universe”, adding, “The new story for their take will be better developing Prince Adam’s motivations and personal connections to Skeletor, the ultimate bad guy for He-Man. It’s also going to do more to develop the relationship between Prince Adam and Teela, giving a richer romantic subplot than we’ve seen for our main character in the past.”
Finally, a new production listing from ProductionWeekly in December 2021 suggests the project is still on.
In January 2022, it was official, the project has moved to Netflix and replaced Centineo with Kyle Allen.
The Hollywood Reporter states, “Sony will retain the rights, both theatrical and streaming, to the film in China.”
The movie will reportedly have a budget of at least $100 million.
What to Expect from Netflix’s Live-Action Masters of the Universe
Let’s run through what the production listing says. Let’s begin with the story:
“In a distant and mystical land, wimpy Prince Adam leads the life of royalty. Unknown to all but a few close friends/allies, Prince Adam is actually a hero, the mighty He-Man. Together with his friends, (such as Teela; her father, a man-at-arms; mysterious Orko and his mighty friend/horse substitute Battle Cat), He-Man battles the evil Skeletor and his minions for control of the world, and, more importantly, for the control, power and “honor of Greyskull,” the mysterious castle from which He-Man derives his powers.”
Among the production companies involved with the project are Escape Artists, founded by Steve Tisch, Todd Black, and Jason Blumenthal. They’re behind movies such as A Journal for Jordan, The Equalizer, and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. Franklin Entertainment, Phantom Four, and Mattel Films are reportedly involved.
The listing notes that Aaron and Adam Nee will serve as writers and directors for the film. It also notes that Art Marcum and Matt Holloway are on board as writers.
What characters will feature in Masters of the Universe?
What’s on Netflix can exclusively reveal some the characters that will feature in the forthcoming movie:
- Sorceress of Castle Grayskull
- Hope (Teela)
- Man-At-Arms / Duncan
Allen is best known for being a series regular on Hulu’s The Path and starred in West Side Story, The In Between, and The Greatest Beer Run Ever.
When will production begin on Masters of the Universe?
After so many delays, production dates should be taken with a pinch of salt. According to ProductionWeekly, the movie was at one point set to begin production on June 13th, 2022, in New Mexico. That didn’t come to pass.
Instead, Kyle Allen updated us all in October 2022, saying that the movie will get underway with filming in April 2023. Additional production lists state the movie will be filmed in Vancouver and Prague.
Allen said in the clip:
“It’s spectacular, we’re going to start filming in April, so it’s just been a matter of waiting and preparing and getting all the story and everything in perfect order.”
Allen also added that he’ll be preparing by doing 6 hours of training per day to get into the role.
We’ll keep you posted on any updates on Masters of the Universe as and when we get them. Let us know in the comments if you’re looking forward to checking this movie out.