The quest for a live-action Masters of the Universe film has been turbulent, with its latest development seeing Netflix drop the project after significant investment.
Initially, Netflix had plans to transform the iconic franchise into a movie, allocating over US$200 million to the budget and enlisting Kyle Allen as He-Man with Adam and Aaron Nee directing. Despite efforts to trim costs (including a proposal to film a sequel simultaneously), the budget remained a sticking point.
Now, as Variety reports, Amazon MGM Studios is in discussions to pick up where Netflix left off. The move to Amazon, however, is not a done deal, with sources describing the negotiations as “tenuous”. Should Amazon decide to proceed, new agreements with the Nee brothers and Allen, who is still attached to star, will be necessary.
This film has journeyed through various studios since 2007, hopping from Warner Bros. to Sony Pictures, and then to Netflix. The current budget is believed to have been slightly reduced to US$170 million. Todd Black, the producer from Mattel, is championing a significant theatrical release for the film, a feature Netflix couldn’t guarantee.
The Masters of the Universe brand has recently seen renewed interest, partly due to Netflix’s successful animated adaptations like She-Ra and the Princesses of Power and Masters of the Universe: Revelation. A sequel to the latter, Masters of the Universe: Revolution is in the works. Before approaching Amazon, Mattel and Black had offered the movie to other studios.
The rights to Masters of the Universe are complicated, involving conglomerates DreamWorks Animation and NBCUniversal. This complexity could potentially impact any sequels produced under Amazon. Over the years, the project has seen various filmmakers, including Jon M. Chu and McG, attempt to bring it to life.
As the film industry waits to see if Masters of the Universe will finally find a home at Amazon, fans remain hopeful for a journey to Eternia. The ultimate fate of this long-awaited project, amidst its complex rights and budgetary challenges, remains to be seen.
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