The big news I’ve been waiting for is here. They have finally officially announced that they are making a Masters of the Universe movie! It is due to come out on December 18th, 2019.

This has been hinted at for a while now but we’ve heard there had been a few directors that were interested and also the script seems to have already gone through multiple rewrites. I’m a huge Masters of the Universe fan, a follower on, attended Power-Con last year in L.A. and am an avid listener to the Roast Gooble podcast, and for years it has been mentioned that if we really want the He-Man franchise to get a fresh injection for a new generation then there really needs to be a movie. There has been the incredible MOTU Classics figures that have been going for about 9 years but these are primarily for adult collectors. We don’t think we will get a mainstream toy line or a new cartoon or anything like that unless there is a movie coming out. It is incredibly encouraging that lately there have been lots of little He-Man and MOTU merchandise bits and bobs coming out recently such as statues, mini toys and retro style action figures etc, mostly from Super 7, but the merchandising that comes with movies will surely be even more exciting.

So as a He-Man fan and someone who has tried to have my ear to the MOTU ground for the last several years, here is what I am hoping for from this movie.

I think it’s always hard to pick somebody for a project like this. I feel it does need to be someone that has a love for the property, but the danger is that you get someone who knows He-Man inside out but doesn’t have the chops to make a good film. For a long time it was going to be McG set to direct the film, and that was even mentioned in the announcement above, but just a few hours ago it was revealed that McG will no longer direct the Masters of the Universe movie. Slightly worrying that we learn that the director has departed right as they announce the film. I really hope they bring in someone good as a replacement.

Who do they aim this at? This is always a challenge when rebooting old franchises. You want to pander to the nostalgia-heads who grew up with He-Man but also you have to pass the torch on and engage the new generation to take the franchise forward. They will have to get that balance right. And what rating do they give it? An 18 or R rated He-Man movie would be cool but it’s not going to happen and it shouldn’t happen. That would of course alienate the children. Do they make it PG or 12/PG-13? The Guardians of the Galaxy movies in the UK are 12A which means they are suitable for 12 year olds and above but people younger than that can go if they are accompanied by an adult. I think they could make a very cool 12A movie, but as the father of a son who will be 8 years old when the movie comes out I do hope that he will get to see it on the big screen.

I think the obvious train of thought here is to make it in the style of Guardians of the Galaxy, as mentioned above. Colourful, fun, humorous, but also cool and full of action. Something between Thor and Guardians of the Galaxy would be good in my opinion. Masters of the Universe is such a colourful, diverse world and I do hope they embrace that and don’t try to make it dark and gritty. It’s supposed to be fun. I don’t think you can make a film with characters called Ram-Man, Buzz-Off and Fisto without having self-aware humour. They supposedly have David S. Goyer on board to rewrite the script. He has an impressive back catalogue including writing the Dark Knight Trilogy and Man of Steel, but these are grittier DC movies. I would perhaps be more comfortable with a Marvel writer. We shall see. Certainly good to have a high calibre writer on board though. Shows that Sony is taking it seriously.

Which canon do they use?
Masters of the Universe is an incredibly rich property. People don’t realise how much there is. There are three cartoon series, mini-comics, lady bird books, a movie, toy biogs, newspaper strips, magazines, comics, audio plays and many more elements that often all have their own story canon. There are many options that they could go down. Which one do they choose? Or do they make a slightly amended new canon, in the same way that the recent Classics toy line did?

What characters should they include?
For me the first movie should be about introducing who were pretty much the first wave of characters in the original vintage toyline. Other than He-Man I would certainly expect to see Teela, Man-at-Arms and the Sorceress, and I would hope to see Stratos and possibly Ram-Man and Man-E-Faces. I know those last two are two of the more wacky characters in some ways but I think they would be great to see. Who knows we might even see Buzz-Off in the first movie. And for Skeletor’s crew I would imagine we would certainly see Beast Man and Evil Lyn. I’d love to see Tri-Klops and Trap Jaw too. I’ve never really liked Mer-Man but he’s the other obvious one to include in the first movie.

Then they obviously leave the door open for sequels that would introduce new characters and storylines, the most obvious being She-Ra and Hordak. I think the Secret of the Sword would make an amazing live action movie.

Prince Adam?
So now there are three big questions that all He-Man fans will be asking. First up, do they have the whole dichotomy of Adam and He-Man, or do they just go for him being He-Man all the time like in some of the early mini-comics and stories (and also the 1987 movie). Personally I think they will have to have Adam. It makes the character more relatable and it offers more interesting storylines in terms of the struggle between which is his actual identity and who he keeps the secret from etc. Also, in my eyes you can’t have He-Man without the transformation sequence. I hope they do that in a way reminiscent of the Filmation cartoon. Also, if they have Adam then that means they have King Randor and Queen Marlena and they can have nice colourful sets in the Eternian Palace and also play on the fact that Marlena is from Earth, allowing for an interesting relatable flashback scene perhaps.

Next up, Orko. Many would argue that Orko really isn’t required in the movie. He wasn’t in the 1987 movie but that was more because of the lack of CGI effects. Personally I quite like Orko in the cartoons. He can play the role of the person who asks the same questions that the audience is asking. I also think he could be done in quite a cool way in CGI. But if he’s dropped then I’m not going to lose sleep about it.

Battle Cat talking?
Battle Cat obviously has to be in the movie. Cringer will only be in it if Adam is in it, but either way, both Cringer and Battle Cat talked in the cartoon. This has been a big debate on the He-Man websites about whether Battle Cat should talk in the movie. Talking animals can often be hit or miss. Personally I’m not too fussed. I wouldn’t want him too chatty, perhaps he can just appear intelligent and communicate with growls, nods, looks and simple yes/nos. But also I can imagine him being this cool, gruff, amusing character who does speak a bit and has the same sort of level of humorous one-liners that Dave Bautista has in Guardians of the Galaxy or K-2SO in Rogue One.

This is a biggie. Who plays He-Man. And more importantly, if you have Prince Adam in the film do you have the same guy playing both roles? That could be hard to pull off unless they use the same sort of CGI effects they use on Chris Evans in the first Captain America movie to make him look smaller. Also, do you go for a big muscley guy or a good actor? It can be hard to get both. Chris Hemsworth was perfect as Thor but I’d be surprised if he would want to do another similar character like this. Someone like that would be great though. I heard that Dolph Lundgren is up for appearing in a cameo role. I’m surprised at that as he has always seemed to slag off the movie and appear embarrassed that he was in it. Cameos like that can be fun but I’m certainly not bothered if he’s not in it.

Release date
The movie is slated to be released on Dec 18th, 2019. That shows that Sony really want to push this as a big movie which is great. But as this will be introducing a new generation of children to the MOTU franchise I thought they might release it at last a week or two earlier so that kids can come out of the cinema and ask for He-Man toys for Christmas. I’m sure they will have the marketing and merchandise covered.

All in all, I can’t believe I’m even writing this post. We’ve been hoping that a new Masters of the Universe movie would get green-lit for years. Fingers crossed this one actually goes ahead.