Sony's Masters of the Universe reboot is currently planning to begin filming in April.
In November last year, fans of '80s fiction were delighted to learn that David S. Goyer was in talks to write and direct Sony's Masters of the Universe. Best known for superhero films such as Blade and Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, Goyer hoped to breathe new life into a film that's been stuck in development hell for quite some time.
He's evidently been successful. According to Omega Underground, Sony is now hoping to begin filming in April this year. Their goal remains to release the film on December 18th, 2019, but that's likely to change. It would put Masters of the Universe in direct competition with Star Wars: Episode IX, and that would hardly be wise.
Ironically enough, Masters of the Universe wouldn't exist without the success of Star Wars. In 1976, Mattel turned down making a series of Star Wars action figures, convinced the film wouldn't be a hit. When they were proven wrong, they started to work on their own line of fantasy toys, with character backgrounds conceived by comic book writers like Donald F. Glut. The figures first arrived in 1981 and became a phenomenal success. Mattel quickly saw the franchise potential of Masters of the Universe, and DC Comics signed up to create comics supporting the action figures, giving He-Man his secret identity of Prince Adam. Filmation launched the He-Man and the Masters of the Universe animated series in 1983.
Of course, Goyer's Masters of the Universe won't be the first live-action He-Man story. In 1987, Cannon films released the first Masters of the Universe, starring Dolph Lundgren as the main hero. The film grossed only $17.3 million in the box office against a budget of $22 million, and was viewed at the time as a critical and commercial failure. Amusingly enough, the passage of time has redeemed the film. Although it's still viewed as amusing, Masters of the Universe has become something of a cult classic.
Sony took over the rights back in 2009, and has been attempting to reboot the franchise ever since. At one point Lundgren was even in talks to return, although this time he'd be playing Prince Adam's father, King Randor. In April last year, director McG left the film, and Goyer was hired to carry out the rewrites. It didn't take long for Goyer to take on the role of director as well.
When it comes to the big screen, Masters of the Universe doesn't exactly have an auspicious history. Sony will be watching with interest to see if Goyer can reboot this franchise into a box office hit.
Source: Omega Underground
- Masters of the Universe (2019) release date: Dec 18, 2019