He-Man Masters Of The Universe Movie Canceled By Netflix

By Britta DeVore | Updated

He-Man Movie
He-Man who, it appears for the moment, does not in fact have the power

Although Mattel may be looking forward to counting its pennies following the cinematic opening of Greta Gerwig’s Barbie this weekend, the toy company has just been dealt a major blow. Variety reports that the live-action film based on the adventures of He-Man, Masters of the Universe, is dead in the water at Netflix.

Netflix’s live-action He-Man movie, Masters of the Universe, is canceled at Netflix.

The film has allegedly already cost the streamer somewhere around $30 million to ensure that actors including Kyle Allen (Rosaline) would join the production along with filmmaking pair Adam and Aaron Nee (The Lost City). To make matters worse, another source claims that the money already dropped on the now-canceled feature was double what the figures are currently pointing to.

The film, which would have not only focused on He-Man but also other fan-favorite toys from the company, would have been a major step forward for the Masters of the Universe IP. Many other studios — including Warner Bros. and Sony Pictures — have sought to bring the story to the big screen.

Netflix was the most recent studio to pick up the torch with Adam and Aaron Nee the latest directors in a lineup that included Crazy Rich Asians director Jon M. Chu and Terminator Salvation helmer, McG. 

Like the others, it sounds like this version of He-Man and Masters of the Universe flew too close to the sun with Netflix concluding that it would cost more than it was worth. Both Adam and Aaron Nee worked alongside the film’s producers, Todd Black and Robbie Brenner, to help cut costs, even going as far as putting their foot down with a $180 million budget.

Dolph Lundgren starred as He-Man in the 1987 flop Masters of the Universe, the first and so far only live-action adaptation of the 1980s cartoon.

For the streaming service though, this was a no-go, as they were hoping to push the film into a sequel they could film simultaneously to make sure they were getting the most bang for their buck.

masters of the universe dolph lundgren
Dolph Lundgren as He-Man in Masters of the Universe

The He-Man-centered film, Masters of the Universe, would have focused on the ripped blonde bombshell hero as he came to blows with his sinister archnemesis, Skeletor. First making their way onto screens around the world in 1980, the characters from He-Man have been a favorite of audiences who love seeing the hero strike down Skeletor at every move.

Netflix’s feature could very well have been a homerun for the streamer with so many other films like The Little Mermaid, The Jungle Book, and Beauty and the Beast proving that live-action remakes of our favorite animated features are a hit at the box office.

Barbie And Mattel

With the highly-anticipated Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling-led live-action version of Barbie arriving in theaters this weekend, Netflix and any other studios could soon get hungry for Mattel properties.

Should Barbie be the box office hit that it’s gearing up to be, He-Man and the rest of his pals in Masters of the Universe will likely be one of Netflix’s biggest cancelation regrets.

With other studios now eyeing up the story, there’s still a chance that we’ll see the live-action version in the future.