Before the pandemic, Sony had announced that they would be releasing a He-Man movie in March, 2021. Noah Centineo was cast in the lead role. Clearly, COVID-delays hit the production hard, and news of the Masters of the Universe film fizzled out. There were rumors that the movie may go to Netflix. There were still rumors that something was happening behind the scenes and the movie was still coming. But despite claims to the contrary, it didn’t sound like momentum was happening for the film. Now, the He-Man movie, Masters of the Universe, has been hit with a hard blow. According to what Centineo’s representative told Collider, the actor is no longer attached to the project.
What does this mean for the He-Man movie? Right now, it means that Sony and Mattel Films are without a lead for the film. Production on this project is familiar with setbacks. The movie has had multiple rewrites and directors lined up over the decade plus that they have been trying to make a reboot happen. He-Man got his start as a toy for Mattel in 1981. He-Man and the Masters of the Universe began as a cartoon series in 1983 and ran for two seasons. Currently, that animated series can be seen on Hulu for US audiences.
Then, in 1987, the studio released a live-action He-Man movie starring Dolph Lundgren. That did absolutely terribly at the box office. The budget was $22 million and they only earned $17.3 million. The poor reception, critically and commercially, hit Mattel’s toy sales. While people had loved the toy when it had little backstory, associating it with the flop of a movie wasn’t something they were willing to do. Now, all these years later, the studio is committed to bringing the character back to film, but they seem to be struggling to find the right talent to make that happen. The COVID-19 delays surely haven’t helped, especially as the talent they had started to bring on is becoming busy with other projects.
While the He-Man movie isn’t gaining momentum, Noah Centineo’s career is. The actor has been in a few films for Netflix, including the To All The Boys films, and is set to take on the role of Atom Smasher for Black Adam. He frequently shares photos of himself bulking up for the role. Previously, some of those photos were about training for his role in the He-Man movie, but at least all the bulking up still has a purpose for him. Below, he recently shared a moment from training. In the caption, he asked fans not to tell Dwayne Johnson, his Black Adam co-star, what he’s been eating.
Meanwhile, Kevin Smith is creating a He-Man animated series for Netflix. The project, titled Masters of the Universe: Revelation, is promised to be getting a release date soon. While a live-action He-Man movie likely has little to do with Kevin Smith’s Netflix project, the interest the animated series could pick up may add more fuel to Sony’s determination to make a live-action movie happen, should they ever find the right talent to make it happen.