Most titles from the memories of the Children of the 80s have been announced for film adaptations, only to languish in development hell. Thundercats, Voltron, and Masters of the Universe have all been promised to loyal fans for years, especially in the wake of the success of Michael Bay's Transformers ---with no payoff for the waiting. Many fans, though, would rather not see their favorites come to life than to see them done poorly. This is a mistake that Hollywood is taking a gamble on by selecting Masters of the Universe to be dragged out of mothballs and dusted off for fans of the most powerful man in the universe---He-Man. Sources close to Sony Pictures and Escape Artists have announced that G.I. Joe: Retaliation and Step-Up series director Jon M. Chu is in talks to bring He-Man and the Masters of the Universe to life. As stated above, the He-Man property has been banished to development hell for years, though some buzz was generated around a script titled only "Grayskull" written by the team of Alex Litvak and Mike Finch---Litvak being known for The Three Musketeers while Finch is known for Exclusively Yours. The script never saw production, however, as the property reverted to the Mattel toy line. Telling the story of Prince Adam, born to King Randor and Queen Marlena of Eternia; the young Prince discovers amazing magical powers with the help of the Sorceress---the guardian of the mysterious Castle Grayskull---and the sword of power. As He-Man he would protect the Sorceress, Castle Grayskull and all of Eternia from the machinations of Skeletor. The premise was copied by many other shows using a similar format at the time, though the success of the series could never be duplicated in quite the same way. Originally, He-man and the Masters of the Universe was designed as a toy line from Mattel and was one of the earlier cases of an animated series being developed to support the toys. Produced by Filmation from 1983-85 and bolstered Mattel's toy line to bestselling status. The series spawned a spin-off in the form of She-Ra: Princess of Power and before its popularity waned, the feature film He-Man and She-Ra: The Secret of the Sword was the series' first foray into feature film territory. It would be two years after the series ended, however, that an official live action adaptation was released seeing Dolph Lundgren in the title role and a very pre-Friends Courtney Cox along with a pre-Voyager Robert Duncan McNeill in key roles. The film is generally considered a flop and is widely ridiculed by fans. In fact, it is this film that is largely considered the reason why another attempt was never made. Hope was restored when the animated format returned to the screen in 2002 and grew again in 2007 when Transformers smashed records at the box office. Details are scarce at this early date, though What Culture will be standing by with details as they develop. In the meantime, what do you think of this announcement? Can Masters of the Universe live again? Voice your opinion in the comments below.
A paragon of all things geek, by day Adam repairs computers for kids grades K-12 who go to school online. By night he writes articles about (mostly) Star Trek for What Culture as well as working on several creative projects (http://maddeningmuse.blogspot.com) He lives in Ohio with his Polyamorous life partner and their three children.