He has the power!
After years of development limbo, He-Man and The Masters of the Universe fans are getting another chance to see the monumentally muscled Prince of Eternia make it to the big screen. Streaming giant Netflix has gained the option on the project from Sony, and production is scheduled to begin this summer. West Side Story star Kyle Allen has been named to play the titular champion of Grayskull in the production.
The project is based on Mattel’s iconic hyper-muscular toy line, The Masters of the Universe, which rocketed to popularity in the 1980s. An extremely popular Filmation animated series that ran between 1983 and 1985 bolstered the line’s success. The line also spawned one live-action movie, which was, let us say, not so well-received. Masters of the Universe: The Motion Picture starring Dolph Lundgren, Frank Langella, and Courteney Cox in one of her first roles was released in 1987. The film was lambasted by critics and a box-office bomb, despite being released at the properties height of popularity. It only made $17.3 million, not even recovering its budget costs.
Fans have clamored for a better live-action adaptation for the last thirty years or so, and now, thanks to Netflix – not to mention multiple successful relaunches of the properties – it appears they’re going to finally get their chance.
Mattel Films’ executive producer Robbie Brenner stated to Deadline, “Masters of the Universe is an iconic property that shaped the imaginations of an entire generation of kids with the message of becoming the best version of yourself. With our partners at Netflix, we look forward to showing audiences that anything can happen in Eternia. We are continuing to unlock this global franchise in new ways, and we can’t wait to see Kyle battle it out with Skeletor in this epic live-action saga,”
Netflix hasn’t yet indicated how the plot for the film will shape up, but it’s fairly safe to speculate that Allen will portray Prince Adam of Eternia, the alter ego of super-powerful He-Man. Adam is a young prince who seeks to use his magic sword and powerful friends and allies to protect his world from the evil machinations of his arch-nemesis Skeletor and his ruthless underlings such as Beast Man and Mer-man. So far, no other casting has been announced. Allen is best known to audiences as Balkan in West Side Story and as Timothy Campbell in the 2018 season of American Horror Story.
Mattel and Netflix partnered last year to bring two animated adaptations to the network. He-Man and the Masters of the Universe was an outright reboot of the series while Masters of the Universe: Revelation, helmed by Clerks director Kevin Smith, continued the storyline of the 1980s Filmation series.
Mattel execs Brenner and V.P. Kevin McKeon will produce for Mattel Films, while Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal, Steve Tisch, and DeVon Franklin will produce for Netflix. “We’ve always been inspired by the fantastical world of Eternia,” producers Black, Blumenthal, and Tisch told Deadline. “This movie has been 14 years in the making for us and our partners, and we are so excited to tell an entirely new story for Masters of the Universe with the Nee Brothers and Dave Callaham for Mattel and Netflix and share it with a global audience.”
Audiences can look to see Allen later this year in Rosaline, another reimagining of Romeo and Juliet featuring Kaitlyn Dever and Isabela Merced, scheduled to be released on Hulu sometime this year.