MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE: REVELATION (L to R) CHRIS WOOD as HE-MAN in episode 101 of MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE: REVELATION Cr. COURTESY OF NETFLIX © 2021
Seems like He-Man and Skeletor may have a new arena to scrap in at Amazon and MGM Studios Prime Video as talks are in place with Mattel.
As the saying goes sometimes “If you can’t beat them, join them”, whether Sony Pictures has learned this lesson, I will leave that up to you to decide. However, it seems the producers behind Masters of the Universe including producer, Todd Black, and Mattel may have gotten that memo as they are looking to close deals with Amazon MGM Studios to bring a long-gestating reboot to life.
Variety carried out the report days back and stated in their editorial right now between the parties at Mattel and Co. and Amazon MGM nothing concrete just yet. A source close to the weekly trade on the motion picture industry stated talks between both parties are wearing on thin ice and quite precarious but hopefully, the studio is confident to proceed.
It is no secret that attempts to adapt The Most Powerful Man in the Universe hailing from Eternia have been met with undesirable results. The closest that Masters of the Universe came to rolling cameras was back in 2019 when Sony had the rights they ultimately sold those rights that same year.
Netflix canceled the film after spending $30 million on development funds and attempts to reduce a bloated production budget set initially for $200 million went to no avail. Netflix at one point did not want to budge in the range of over $150 million.
As it stands, 2021’s West Side Story star, Kyle Allen, is still attached to play Prince Adam and his blonde, muscled alter-ego, He-Man in the movie. Aaron and Adam Nee, who were set to helm the preceding iteration of the live-action film based on the toy line, have quite a bit of work cut out for them coming off from last year’s The Lost City.
The filmmaking pair has been attached to co-direct the untitled third installment of The Lego Movie. Were Amazon to move forward, the Nee Bros. would need to renegotiate their deal for a new script polish and to direct. However, there is one more hurdle Escape Artists and Mattel will have to leap over to secure their position: the rights.
It has become apparent due to a complicated history with ownership dating as far back to decades – while Mattel owns the rights to the toyline, the rights to other media like the 80s animated series is owned by Filmation, whose divided the rights even further with another related series She-Ra: Princess of Power.
The film rights changed hands from studio to studio over the years. Filmation was acquired by DreamWorks Animation owned by NBCUniversal purchased a large part of the “Masters” content library. Mattel can exploit the use of the film adaptations of these characters until 2026 though an extension is likely.
Masters of the Universe will star Kyle Allen as He-Man. The Nee Bros. is directing from a screenplay they co-wrote with Dave Callaham. Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal, Robbie Brenner, and Steve Tisch are producing for Escape Artists in association with Mattel Films. Bill Bannerman and DeVon Franklin are credited as executive producers.
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