There are very few properties from the 80s that haven't been tapped for a big-screen remake in recent years. The decade has been fertile ground for producers looking to get into franchise filmmaking, with attempts ranging from Transformers to The Smurfs. Mostly because most of the children's programming in that era was primarily designed to sell toys and merchandising. (Oh, how times have changed.) One of the last IP's begging to be brought to the theaters has been Masters of the Universe and it seems that the wait is coming to an end.
Masters of the Universe followed the story of Prince Adam, heir to the throne of Eternia, a fantasy world with a unique combination of magic and high-concept technology. While Adam was meek royalty by day, he also had the ability to summon a mystical power to become He-Man, the mightiest force in the universe. The animated show followed his adventures as he battled Skeletor, a ghastly sorceror who attempted to gain ultimate power on a weekly basis.
It seems Sony Pictures has finally decided to get serious about the property that has spent decades in developmental hell. Today, the studio provided an update to their upcoming film release slate and according to a tweet from Exhibitor Relations, Masters of the Universe will be opening in U.S. theaters on December 18th, 2019.
By the power of Grayskull! Sony's MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE stakes out December 18, 2019. He-Man!
— Exhibitor Relations (@ERCboxoffice) April 27, 2017
Details are scarce on the project as the studio has yet to make an official statement; however, there have been rumblings behind the scenes for some time now. There still hasn't been a formal announcement on the film's director, though McG (Charlie's Angels) has been working on the project for years.
While McG still is not confirmed as the director, it seems that he and Sony are looking to find a style and tone that will feel familiar for fans of the MCU. The approach makes sense, particularly with Thor: Ragnarok in mind, which also hopes to successfully combine swords, sandals, and science fiction, into a crowd-pleasing blockbuster. In fact, Marvel's November release may have a long-reaching impact on Masters of the Universe's outcome depending on how the movie performs later this year.
[Update: The new release date and David Goyer writing has been confirmed. We've also confirmed that McG is no longer attached to direct.]
The search for the new face of He-Man may quickly become one of Hollywood's most competitive races. Despite the box-office and critical failure of 1987's Masters of the Universe, Dolph Lungren and Frank Langella are both still fondly remembered for their roles of He-Man and Skeletor, respectively, which proves the power of the franchise. There is certainly a lot more to news to come from the land of Eternia in the near future.
Masters of the Universe will be opening in U.S. theaters on December 18, 2019.