Teela will be one of the characters in the upcoming Masters of the Universe movie reboot. This has been confirmed by a series of photos posted by David S. Goyer, whom it was previously reported will be directing the new screen adaptation of the fantasy property.
One of the few female characters tied to the He-Man franchise, Teela has a complex and convoluted history. Originally depicted as a character called "The Sorceress" or "The Goddess", it was she who was responsible for giving He-Man the magical Sword of Power in the original mini-comics that came with the action figures. When the figure based on The Sorceress was changed into a warrior woman named Tee-La, a retcon revealed Tee-La to be a "daughter" of The Sorceress created by Skeletor's attempts to siphon the power of The Goddess and create a clone he could use to access the power of Castle Grayskull. This was simplified by the He-Man and The Masters of the Universe cartoon, which depicted The Sorceress as a totally different being named Teela Na and Teela as her biological daughter, who served as the Captain of King Randor's Guards and combat tutor to Randor's son, Prince Adam, who was secretly the hero He-Man.
The photos were posted to the Instagram account of Phantom Four - David Goyer's production company. The photos show Goyer with artist Carlos Huante, who is also attached to the new Masters of the Universe film (and whom Goyer worked with before on Blade: Trinity), looking at a series of pre-production sketches. One of the sketches, viewed on a monitor, is labeled "Teela Battle Suit".
While these photos seemingly confirm Teela's role in the upcoming movie, they also seem to dash the hopes that the film will accurately depict the original toy-line and comic books, which were more based in fantasy than science-fiction. While the Masters of the Universe line famously mixed science-fiction and fantasy concepts, with barbarian warriors piloting flying vehicles that shoot laser beams and a skull-faced sorcerer who employs cyborgs and beast-men as his minions, they have always adhered to a fantasy-fueled aesthetic inspired by artists such as Frank Frazetta and Boris Vallejo. The "battle suit" in question looks more appropriate to a futuristic setting and is sadly generic compared to the unique look that Masters of the Universe possessed.
These photos may be revealing in another respect, seemingly confirming Goyer's involvement in the upcoming movie as both writer and director. It is not commonplace for writers to be consulted on pre-production artwork... but directors are. Given Goyer's previous relationship with Huante, it seems possible that Goyer has agreed to write and direct Masters of the Universe - a development that has already been rumored for several months. Then again, it could just be that two friends decided to get together and discuss their work on the same project unofficially.
Stay tuned for more Masters of the Universe updates over the next few months, ahead of the (reported) start of production.
- Masters of the Universe (2019) release date: Dec 18, 2019