Live-Action Masters Of The Universe Leaves Sony For Netflix, Our Scoop Confirmed

By Nathan Kamal | 4 months ago

live-action masters of the universe

It’s definitely happening: the live-action Masters of the Universe feature has moved from Sony Pictures to Netflix. We reported this rumor some time ago, and it has now been confirmed. Per Deadline, the long in the works project is now being developed for release by Netflix this summer. While Noah Centineo was in talks to portray the central character of He-Man for some time, he is no longer attached to the project. Instead, Netflix has announced that Kyle Allen will be following up his role in Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story by starring as He-Man/Prince Adam. The live-action adaptation of the iconic 1980s series is just one of many recent revivals of the property, so it will be interesting to see how Netflix spins it this time. 

The Masters of the Universe franchise has had a cultural impact far more lasting than its humble beginnings as a Conan the Barbarian knockoff would have predicted. First introduced in 1981 by the toy company Mattel as a set of action figures, the franchise now encompasses multiple animated series and movies, a live-action film, comic books, games and at least one incident where Skeletor learned the true meaning of Christmas. It is somewhat fitting that the revival of Masters of the Universe would happen around the same time as Star Wars has once again become a dominant pop culture force. The original action figures were created after Mattel passed on the chance to produce Star Wars action figures for George Lucas, and Kenner made approximately all the money in the world from the toys. 

skeletor vs he-man
Masters of the Universe: Revelation

In recent years, Masters of the Universe has begun a revival. In 2018, Netflix launched the animated She-Ra and the Princesses of Power from showrunner ND Stevenson, to enormous critical acclaim. The (literal) sister series to the He-Man series of the past, She-Ra currently holds a 97% on Rotten Tomatoes. Netflix also released Masters of the Universe: Revelation in 2021 from filmmaker Kevin Smith, again to remarkably good reviews. Some of that can probably be attributed to nostalgia for a franchise that has always depended on a “good muscle guy vs evil bone guy” premise, but having the evil bone guy be voiced by Mark Hamill helps too. While Hamill is most known for the iconic role of Luke Skywalker in various Star Wars properties, his longtime voice acting gigs have become an enormous part of his appeal. 

While Masters of the Universe is moving to Netflix for American release, Sony Pictures is still hanging on to its film rights for distribution in China. Considering China has become the most important international market for films, by far, that is a pretty important right to retain. The new Masters of the Universe film is set to be directed by Adam and Aaron Nee. The screenplay is being written by David Callaham, who recently wrote Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings for Marvel Studios and Wonder Woman 1984 for Warner Bros. Given the surge of new He-Man projects, this is sure to not be the last revival for a while.