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Mattel Films and Netflix Partner on Masters of the Universe Live-Action Motion Picture from The Nee Brothers With Kyle Allen to Star as He-Man


JayC

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Mattel, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAT) and Netflix announced today they are developing Masters of the Universe, Mattel’s iconic franchise from the 1980s, into a live-action motion picture which is expected to begin production in summer 2022. The Nee Brothers (The Lost City, Band of Robbers) co-direct from a screenplay, written by the Nee’s and David Callaham (Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Wonder Woman 1984). Rising talent Kyle Allen (West Side Story) will star as Prince Adam/He-Man.

When an orphan named Adam discovers he is a prince destined to be the savior of a faraway land, he must quickly learn of his power and the importance of saving his true home from an evil force.

“Masters of the Universe is an iconic property that shaped the imaginations of an entire generation of kids in the eighties 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,” said Robbie Brenner, executive producer of Mattel Films.

“We’ve always been inspired by the fantastical world of Eternia,” said producers Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal and Steve Tisch. “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.”

Brenner and Kevin McKeon (VP of Mattel Films) will lead the project for Mattel Films. Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal and Steve Tisch (Being the Ricardos, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, Fences, The Equalizer, The Upside) and DeVon Franklin will produce. The project was formerly in development at Sony.

Last summer, Mattel and Netflix partnered to bring Eternia back to screens in two series. Masters of the Universe: Revelation, a continuation of the classic storyline from the 1980s. Kevin Smith served as the showrunner which featured an all-star voice cast including Mark Hamill, Lena Headey, Chris Wood and Sarah Michelle Gellar, to name a few. Netflix also launched He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, a dazzling CG-animated series which reimagined the thrilling heroic adventures of the Guardians of Grayskull for this next generation of fans.

Since its creation in 1982, the Masters of the Universe franchise has become a cultural phenomenon spanning toys, television, film, comics, books, and video games. It’s transcended generations and ignited passion amongst fans around the world. Now, more than 30 years later, Mattel is bringing Masters of the Universe back to delight long-standing fans and introduce a new generation to Eternia and the thrilling, heroic adventures of the Guardians of Grayskull. From the beginning, the brand was built upon the message of becoming the best version of yourself.

Masters of the Universe was first introduced to the world in 1982 through a line of action figures. In 1983, the animated series He-Man and the Masters of the Universe™ premiered and became one of the first kids’ show to be syndicated on television.

Kyle-Allen-age.jpg

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I can see this dude playing Prince Adam.  But unless they go all CGI on him, he better start bangin and clangin the weights and poppin steriods to take the role of He-Man.

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There is no way the people behind that new Masters of the Universe movie are going to C.G.I that new actor's body into He-Man. This actor will work out, he will get in shape the way Henry Cavill got in shape playing Superman. This is He-man we are talking about, not the Hulk.

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"When an orphan named Adam discovers he is a prince destined to be the savior of a faraway land..."  How is this Masters of the Universe?  I don't mild alterations to a franchise to keep each iteration fresh and exciting (e.g. TMNT 2012, MotU 2003, Transformers Animated, Superman and Lois), but making Adam completely unaware of Eternia or the kingdom of Eternos just seems a little too different. I'm sure it'll be another dumpster fire like all of Netflix's live-action adaptations of animated series.

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22 minutes ago, SwordOfGreg said:

"When an orphan named Adam discovers he is a prince destined to be the savior of a faraway land..."  How is this Masters of the Universe?  I don't mild alterations to a franchise to keep each iteration fresh and exciting (e.g. TMNT 2012, MotU 2003, Transformers Animated, Superman and Lois), but making Adam completely unaware of Eternia or the kingdom of Eternos just seems a little too different. I'm sure it'll be another dumpster fire like all of Netflix's live-action adaptations of animated series.

It's the same o' same o'... Basically every movie ever made about superheroes or comic books or cartoons have never followed the original storyline.  Movie companies have to dummy up the storyline for people to make it interesting if they don't know anything about the characters.  They do it for TV shows as well...

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  • 3 weeks later...

I get having to change a few things to make it a bit more relatable to a larger audience but again with the pulling it off Eternia? It doesn't do anything to piss off the fan base to start things. 

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6 hours ago, Hordak Rules said:

I get having to change a few things to make it a bit more relatable to a larger audience but again with the pulling it off Eternia? It doesn't do anything to piss off the fan base to start things. 

Yeah, let them be on eternia.  Let transformers be on Cybertron.  Learn the lesson from guardians of the Galaxy and set them where they belong.  However I didn't feel like they were saying they were taking it away from the planet.

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I hate to be so negative, but these two look like they're just giving a bunch of empty lip service. They look less like guys that know anything about the MOTU franchise and more like they were given a list of bullet points by Mattel. I get very strong "answering the teacher's question about a book I didn't actually read" vibe from them.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 1 year later...

Sources from within have informed Variety that the live-action 'Masters of the Universe' movie is officially dead at Netflix.  Sources feel that Netflix dropped the project as it was already close to $30 million on development costs and salary for previously announced lead Kyle Allen and the film’s directing duo Adam and Aaron Nee.  A spokesperson for Mattel confirmed that 'Masters of the Universe' is no longer at Netflix, but did not provide any further comment.

Set on the planet Eternia, “Masters of the Universe” largely focuses on the conflict between He-Man, a blonde muscle god, and his devious nemesis Skeletor. The characters formed a much-loved 1980s animated series, which developed a cross-generational fan base during its syndicated runs. For the latest film iteration, the budget came in at over $200 million with cameras set to roll this February, sources said.  Sources close to the project said that the streaming service refused to spend more than $150 million to see up-and-comer Allen pick up He-Man’s sword.  The directors worked with producers to get the budget down and Netflix still complained about the price and never gave the movie an official green light.  It was also proposed that Netflix and filmmakers considered shooting 'Masters of the Universe' and a proposed sequel simultaneously to stretch the cost, but could not reach a middle ground.

Mattel is hoping that a new buyer could be found for the project as it was brought to Universal Pictures in the past month, but the studio passed on the project.  Leadership at Mattel is hoping this weekend’s 'Barbie,' projected to take in north of $100 million at the box office, will shore up their position in finding a new buyer.

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On 7/18/2023 at 8:00 PM, Outsiders said:

Sources from within have informed Variety that the live-action 'Masters of the Universe' movie is officially dead at Netflix.  Sources feel that Netflix dropped the project as it was already close to $30 million on development costs and salary for previously announced lead Kyle Allen and the film’s directing duo Adam and Aaron Nee.  A spokesperson for Mattel confirmed that 'Masters of the Universe' is no longer at Netflix, but did not provide any further comment.

Set on the planet Eternia, “Masters of the Universe” largely focuses on the conflict between He-Man, a blonde muscle god, and his devious nemesis Skeletor. The characters formed a much-loved 1980s animated series, which developed a cross-generational fan base during its syndicated runs. For the latest film iteration, the budget came in at over $200 million with cameras set to roll this February, sources said.  Sources close to the project said that the streaming service refused to spend more than $150 million to see up-and-comer Allen pick up He-Man’s sword.  The directors worked with producers to get the budget down and Netflix still complained about the price and never gave the movie an official green light.  It was also proposed that Netflix and filmmakers considered shooting 'Masters of the Universe' and a proposed sequel simultaneously to stretch the cost, but could not reach a middle ground.

Mattel is hoping that a new buyer could be found for the project as it was brought to Universal Pictures in the past month, but the studio passed on the project.  Leadership at Mattel is hoping this weekend’s 'Barbie,' projected to take in north of $100 million at the box office, will shore up their position in finding a new buyer.

What a surprise.  A dead motu film.  Never would have guessed that one.

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  • 3 months later...

According to Variety, Amazon MGM Studios is currently engaged in serious discussions to produce a live-action adaptation of "Masters of the Universe." The project will be helmed by Adam and Aaron Nee, the duo responsible for "The Lost City." This news comes after Netflix decided to drop their planned version of the Nee brothers' film in July.

Netflix had invested a substantial amount, approximately $30 million, in the development of the project over two years. The film was intended to feature Kyle Allen, known for his role in "A Haunting in Venice." However, Netflix withdrew from the project when it became apparent that the initial budget of over $200 million could not be significantly reduced.

While the talks between Amazon and MGM are still in a delicate stage, an additional source advises caution. If the deal proceeds, the studio will need to negotiate new agreements with the Nees for script revisions and directing. Kyle Allen remains a potential candidate to portray the iconic character He-Man. Furthermore, Mattel and producer Todd Black, who has been dedicated to the film throughout its journey across various studios such as Warner Bros. and Sony, will also be aiming for a substantial theatrical release, which was not a viable option with Netflix. Both Amazon MGM and Mattel declined to comment on the matter.

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5 hours ago, RobertD said:

Listen, I love MOTU as much as the next child of the 80s, but no one's going to recoup their losses if the *starting* budget is $200M.  Movie budgets are so jaw-droppingly bloated these days...

Make a good movie and it'll be easy to recoup the costs.

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1 hour ago, hainrs said:

Make a good movie and it'll be easy to recoup the costs.

Easy?  No, I don't believe that. You could make a MOTU Citizen Kane and the general audience will still be like "He-Man?  I don't give a damn about He-Man."  It's just not a property that will ever regain that broad appeal it once held, or really anything even close to it, in my view.

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On 2/19/2022 at 3:41 PM, Hordak Rules said:

I get having to change a few things to make it a bit more relatable to a larger audience but again with the pulling it off Eternia? It doesn't do anything to piss off the fan base to start things. 

Where did you hear they were pulling it off Eternia? All I've read is that it will be on Eternia.

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  • 5 months later...

Mattel's long-rumored Masters of the Universe live-action movie has apparently found a new home according to Variety. Previously there was a movie coming to Netflix that was going to be directed by the duo of Adam and Aaron Nee. That movie was going to star Kyle Allen as He-Man. Then in July it was reported that the project was dead at Netflix and that Mattel would begin shopping the project around to other studios. Before that there had been multiple rumor reports over the years that a MOTU live-action movie would be made for movie theaters which never materialized.

Well now it looks like Amazon/MGM is the next studio to take a stab at this project. According to Variety the movie will be slated with a June 5, 2026 theatrical release and be directed by Travis Knight (Bumblebee Movie). No word on any casting for this one yet but there was a story synopsis released that reads as follows:

 
 

“Masters of the Universe” introduces a 10-year-old Prince Adam, who crashed to Earth in a spaceship and was separated from his magical Power Sword — the only link to his home on Eternia. After tracking it down almost two decades later Prince Adam is whisked back across space to defend his home planet against the evil forces of Skeletor. But to defeat such a powerful villain, Prince Adam will first need to uncover the mysteries of his past and become He-Man: the most powerful man in the Universe!”

.

We will see if the movie actually happens this time but at this point I am like, I will believe it when I see it. When anymore details become available we will be sure to update you here.

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1 hour ago, JayC said:

Mattel's long-rumored Masters of the Universe live-action movie has apparently found a new home according to Variety. Previously there was a movie coming to Netflix that was going to be directed by the duo of Adam and Aaron Nee. That movie was going to star Kyle Allen as He-Man. Then in July it was reported that the project was dead at Netflix and that Mattel would begin shopping the project around to other studios. Before that there had been multiple rumor reports over the years that a MOTU live-action movie would be made for movie theaters which never materialized.

Well now it looks like Amazon/MGM is the next studio to take a stab at this project. According to Variety the movie will be slated with a 2026 release and be directed by Travis Knight (Bumblebee Movie). No word on any casting for this one yet but there was a story synopsis released that reads as follows:
 

 
 

“Masters of the Universe” introduces a 10-year-old Prince Adam, who crashed to Earth in a spaceship and was separated from his magical Power Sword — the only link to his home on Eternia. After tracking it down almost two decades later Prince Adam is whisked back across space to defend his home planet against the evil forces of Skeletor. But to defeat such a powerful villain, Prince Adam will first need to uncover the mysteries of his past and become He-Man: the most powerful man in the Universe!”

.

We will see if the movie actually happens this time but at this point I am like, I will believe it when I see it. When anymore details become available we will be sure to update you here.

Yeah, how many times has this been greenlit? Hopefully they don't spend too much time with Adam on Earth if this is what happens. After bunblebee, I trust Travis knight 

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