Sony has re-scheduled its Masters of the Universe movie for an early 2021 release date. The studio has been working on the live-action film since it landed the rights in 2009, but with little to show for it so far. Writers and/or directors like Jon M. Chu, Jeff Wadlow, McG, and David S. Goyer have all been involved with the project at some point in that time, but have since stepped away for one reason or another. At the moment, however, the movie is closer than ever to actually starting production, with Aaron and Adam Nee (Band of Robbers) directing from a script by Matt Holloway and Art Marcum (Iron Man).
Noah Centineo (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, The Perfect Date) is similarly set to star as Prince Adam, heir to the throne of planet Eternia and a hero who (covertly) transforms into his alter ego He-Man to defend the secrets of Castle Grayskull from the villainous Skeletor. The Masters of the Universe media franchise itself launched in the 1980s and has made the jump to the big screen once before, in the 1987 box office bomb-turned cult movie adaptation of the same name. Assuming everything works out this time, it will finally make its return to theaters 34 years later.
Masters of the Universe was most recently slated to arrive in 2020, after Sony delayed the movie from its previous December 2019 release date. The film is now officially scheduled to hit theaters on March 5, 2021, which could mean production has been delayed from its previously reported July start time. Either way, this confirms Masters of the Universe will open against the Nimona comic book adaptation at the box office.
While Sony was holding onto Masters of the Universe's December 2019 date as recently as last month, it's been obvious for a while now the movie simply wouldn't be ready in time to make that release window. Moreover, it was slated to face off with tentpoles like Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and Jumanji 3 (another Sony release) that month, so it felt like the He-Man adventure would have to move eventually, even before its production was pushed back (again). Sony clearly sees this one as being the potential start of a franchise anyway, so it would've made all the less sense to pit it against surefire box office bets like Star Wars in theaters. And though the film's far from a guaranteed success right now, it has a better shot at becoming a hit on its current pre-spring launch date than it ever did in late 2019.
Of course, it helps that March has become an increasingly lucrative time for movies in general over the past few years. March 2019 releases like Captain Marvel and Us both enjoyed massively profitable runs, of course, as did Kong: Skull Island and Beauty and the Beast in 2017. On the other hand, films like Tomb Raider and Pacific Rim Uprising yielded mixed success at the box office that month in 2018 (though, the former's still got a sequel in development), so Masters of the Universe may need to generate some positive word of mouth to ensure that it, too, has the (commercial) power.
- Masters of the Universe (2021) release date: Mar 05, 2021