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 project so far.
As mentioned, Netflix is heavily invested in the Masters of the Universe world. The Mattel franchise first began back in the 80s and has seen a resurgence in recent years 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 have released in 2021. Netflix has also released a more 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 announced it’d be developing a live-action so let’s run through all the official news and rumors for the project so far.
One way or another, the live-action Masters of the Universe project has been in development since 2008 with plenty of names involved in the script and the project as a whole 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 all having involvement.
Fast forward to 2019 after years of silence Noah Centineo (known for Netflix’s To All The Boys Franchise and will star in a yet to be titled espionage series for Netflix) said that he was involved in the project with it scheduled to release by Sony in cinemas in late 2019. That didn’t come to pass with it delayed and the project was once again silent.
In early 2020, rumors started swirling that Netflix was going to board the project with DiscussingFilm 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.
Most recently in April 2021, Noah Centineo announced to Collider that he’d exited the Sony movie.
Although Masters of the Universe wasn’t explicitly mentioned, it’s worth noting that in April 2021, Netflix and Sony struck a comprehensive first-look deal but perhaps most pertinently to this story, the partnership would see Sony produce movies that release exclusively on Netflix.
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 stated 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 more rich romantic subplot than we’ve seen for our main character in the past.”
Now, finally, a new production listing from ProductionWeekly in December 2021 suggests the project is still on.
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, the company 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.
We should note that Netflix has not officially confirmed any details thus far so until we know more, take all this with a pinch of salt.
When will production begin on Masters of the Universe?
After so many delays any production dates should be taken with a pinch of salt. According to ProductionWeekly, however, the movie is due to begin production on June 13th, 2022 in New Mexico.
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.