Netflix, once again, has the power.
The streaming service and Mattel announced Friday their plans to make a live action Masters of the Universe film. The Lost City‘s Nee Brothers remain as co-directors with David Callaham joining them on scripting duties. And just to prove its commitment to the premise, He-Man has already been cast. West Side Story‘s Kyle Allen will play Adam. According to the logline, the character is an orphan who “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.” Based on that synopsis, it sounds like the film may be taking a few queues from the original Masters of the Universe toyline from the 1982, in which He-Man was a barbarian who left his village to battle with Skeletor for the secrets of Castle Grayskull. The subsequent animated series, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, recast He-Man with a royal dual identity, which he has retained ever since — including Netflix’s two recent MOTU animated programs.
In a statement, Robbie Brenner, executive producer of Mattel Films, said “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. 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.”
Of course, it remains to be seen who will play He-Man’s skull-faced nemesis or what qualities they’ll bring to the character.
While producers Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal, and Steve Tisch added that the film was “fourteen years in the making,” attempts to bring He-Man to features has been an ongoing concern since Cannon Films released Masters of the Universe in 1987. Although that movie failed to wow audiences or re-invigorate the toyline, it kept the notion of He-Man alive in Hollywood, where various filmmakers would try to wield the Power Sword from the mid-90s to this very day. This project, for example, was first announced in 2019 at Sony with a different actor cast as He-Man.
As with all newly-announced projects, it is unclear how quickly it will materialize on the streaming platform, but the fact it already has directors, screenwriters, and a lead actor in place suggests it could be in production quite quickly.