1987's Masters of the Universe really stretched the definition of what a "cult film" truly is, bombing at the box office in spectacular fashion some 30 years ago. It was the big screen adaptation from the 1983 animated series He-Man and the Masters of the Universe that had many fans of the character intrigued to see how Dolph Lundgren would portray the hero against the evil Skeletor. But a $17.3m return at the theaters from a $22m budget emphasized that the Gary Goddard flick was a waste of time and money.
Now Sony Pictures is developing a new edition with the assistance of Batman Begins screenwriter David S. Goyer. December 18, 2019 is the date slated by the production company. And, while that appears to be a sign of confidence that the project is moving in the right direction, they still have the not-so small issue of a vacant director's chair.
McG Drops Out As Actors Are Linked With He-Man Role
Terminator Salvation filmmaker McG had long been associated with the position and even went on record to talk about adapting the animated classic. While he has a mixed history with big screen features from Charlie's Angels to This Means War and The Babysitter, the 48-year old saw this as a passion project that he was eager to helm.
The director said he was “laser-focused on that being (his) next film.” As if to forecast his own fate, he issued caution about any guarantees. “But I mean, you know how it works in contemporary filmmaking. You really, really have to earn the good will of the parent studio, and Tom Rothman runs a tight ship at Sony, and we’re going to get there.”
Looks like they will, just not with you McG.
87 Flop Still Lingers In The Memory
A 17% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes does not tell the whole story of Masters of the Universe. But it is a fair indication of its popularity. Or more to the point, the lack thereof. Despite having one of the hottest action properties in the form of Dolph Lundgren as He-Man, the brilliant Frank Langella as Skeletor and Courtney Cox as the love interest Julie Winston, the movie could not gauge enough interest.
As the years went on, it would symbolize the best of campy 80s action flicks that took inspiration from a line of toys. With 32-year old Kellan Lutz from The Expendables 3 tipped to take over from where Lundgren left off, Sony has their work cut out to make the 2019 installment engaging and enjoyable.