He-Man’s nemesis in “Masters of the Universe” is the malevolent wizard Skeletor. For nearly two decades, Hollywood has been the greatest threat to He-Man, with several studio partners preventing him from appearing on the big screen.
However, the popular Mattel toy character, based on the blond barbarian, may finally have a chance to shine. Amazon MGM Studios is in serious discussions to bring a live-action “Masters of the Universe” movie to life, led by the talented Adam and Aaron Nee, known for their work on “The Lost City.”
Previously, Netflix had invested nearly $30 million in developing the project, which was set to feature Kyle Allen. Unfortunately, Netflix withdrew from the project when the budget skyrocketed to over $200 million.
Although talks with Amazon are uncertain, if successful, the studio will need to finalize new deals with the Nees for script revisions and to direct. Mattel and producer Todd Black are determined to secure a significant theatrical release for the film.
The story behind the “Masters” rights is enigmatic, stretching back over a decade when DreamWorks Animation acquired the rights as part of a larger content library. The continued rights negotiation may pose a potential challenge for Amazon MGM in developing sequels.
Discussions with NBCUniversal and Mattel about extending the rights are ongoing, and a deal may be reached soon if both parties agree.
With a budget of around $170 million, if the rights negotiations are successful, Amazon’s new head of theatrical film and streaming, Courtenay Valenti, may secure a significant win for the studio. The nostalgic value of the “Masters” characters, alongside Netflix’s popular animated series, further strengthens Amazon’s vision of a successful franchise.
Mattel, the creative masterminds behind characters like Barbie and Magic 8 Ball, are not short of development properties. However, with the potential revival of “Masters of the Universe,” He-Man’s determination to make a big-screen appearance shines through.