Mattel’s live-action Masters of the Universe film based on its iconic 1980s muscular action figure toy line is determined to live on.
After being in development at Sony for quite some years, the feature project is now moving over to Netflix for a summer start. There was buzz about this some time ago, but Sony would not confirm then. That rumor now is a reality. Sony, meanwhile, will keep rights to the film in China.
Adam and Aaron Nee (The Lost City) remain attached to direct with a screenplay they wrote with David Callaham (Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Wonder Woman 1984).
Kyle Allen. who plays one of the Jets in Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story, will star as Prince Adam/He-Man.
In Masters of the Universe, 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.
“Masters of the Universe is an iconic property that shaped the imaginations of an entire generation of kids with the message of becoming the best version of yourself,” said Robbie Brenner, executive producer of Mattel Films. “With our partners at Netflix, we look forward to showing audiences that anything can happen in Eternia. We are continuing to unlock this global franchise in new ways, and we can’t wait to see Kyle battle it out with Skeletor in this epic live-action saga.”
Said producers Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal and Steve Tisch: “We’ve always been inspired by the fantastical world of Eternia. This movie has been 14 years in the making for us and our partners and we are so excited to tell an entirely new story for Masters of the Universe with the Nee Brothers and Dave Callaham for Mattel and Netflix and share it with a global audience.”
Brenner and VP Kevin McKeon will lead the project for Mattel Films. Black, Blumenthal and Tisch (Being the Ricardos, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom) and DeVon Franklin will produce.
Last summer, Mattel and Netflix partnered to bring Eternia back in two series. Masters of the Universe: Revelation is a continuation of the classic storyline from the 1980s. Kevin Smith served as the showrunner for the series, which features an all-star voice cast including Mark Hamill, Lena Headey, Chris Wood and Sarah Michelle Gellar. He-Man and the Masters of the Universe is a dazzling CG-animated series, which reimagines the thrilling heroic adventures of the Guardians of Grayskull for a new generation of fans.
Mattel’s Masters of the Universe was first introduced to the world in 1982 through a line of action figures. The animated series He-Man and the Masters of the Universe premiered the following year and became one of the first children’s programs to be syndicated on television.
Art Marcum and Matt Holloway wrote an earlier draft at Sony with Noah Centineo in talks to play He-Man at one point. The project originally was scheduled for a theatrical release but then pulled from the calendar in January 2020 before the pandemic.
There was a live-action movie made by Cannon Films in 1987, shortly after the peak of the toys and cartoon, with Dolph Lundgren as He-Man, but the movie died at the summer domestic box office with $17.3M.
Allen recently starred as Balkan is the multi-award-nominated West Side Story. He can next be seen in Kyra Sedgwick’s Space Oddity, and starred in the 2018 edition of American Horror Story and Hulu’s The Path. He is repped by UTA, Management 360 and Hansen, Jacobson, Teller.
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