Sony Pictures and Mattel have tapped indie filmmakers The Nee Brothers to direct their Masters of the Universe adaptation. He-Man and the Masters of the Universe was an enormously popular animated series in the 1980s, which is what gave rise to the phrase, "By the power of Grayskull." With those magic words, Prince Adam would transform himself into muscle-bound hero He-Man, once again ready to do battle with the evil Skeletor. Of course, the He-Man TV show was merely a means of marketing the Mattel He-Man toy line. The Filmation animated series ran for 130 episodes, along the way spawning a female-centered spinoff, She-Ra, Princess of Power.
Then, in 1987, B-movie studio Canon Films took advantage of whatever He-Man hype existed by releasing a live-action Masters of the Universe, starring muscle-man Dolph Lundgren as He-Man and renowned stage and screen actor Frank Langella as his arch-enemy Skeletor. Due to various reasons, including budget limitations, Masters of the Universe turned out even worse than expected and flopped at the box office (though the film has retained its fair share of fans over the decades). For years, Sony Pictures has endeavored to revisit Masters of the Universe by getting a new movie version off the ground, presumably with a bigger budget and a more charismatic leading man - and it seems they are finally on their way to doing so.
Variety reports that Sony and Mattel have hired Aaron and Adam Nee (aka The Nee Brothers) to direct their Masters of the Universe movie. Screenwriter David S. Goyer had been in talks for the top gig at one time, but he ultimately passed on directing Masters of the Universe due to a scheduling conflict. Back when Goyer was still eyeing the director's chair, the film was reportedly set to begin shooting in spring 2018. No casting announcements have been made as of yet.
Brother directing team Aaron and Adam Nee have just two feature film directing credits to their names, the 2006 comedy-drama The Last Romantic and the 2015 crime comedy Band of Robbers. The latter film, a fantasy that re-imagined Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn as grown men living in the present day, earned a measure of critical praise and set the brothers up for bigger projects in the future.
Before he passed on directing, David Goyer teased a few details about the upcoming Masters of the Universe film, including some art featuring the character Teela. Goyer wrote the script for the upcoming reboot and will still remain heavily involved in its production as an executive producer. Unfortunately, his prior engagements just didn't allow enough time to helm the film as a director. With Masters of the Universe slated to hit theaters in December 2019, production will need to get underway sometime this summer or at least early fall, which means casting should begin relatively soon.
- Masters of the Universe (2021) release date: Mar 05, 2021