Aaron and Adam Nee‘s planned live-action reboot of Masters of the Universe could be heading to Amazon following its cancellation at Netflix.
As broken by Variety, Amazon MGM Studios is in “serious talks” to bring the Nee brothers’ take on Masters of the Universe to life. One source familiar with the situation warns that the talks are currently “tenuous.” Should things move forward, however, the studio would need to draft new deals for the Nees to polish their script and direct. Kyle Allen is still expected to star in the lead role of He-Man if the movie gets the green light.
Furthermore, producer and Mattel executive Todd Black is pushing for Masters of the Universe to receive a wide theatrical release (something that was a non-starter at Netflix). The project has already jumped ship at least twice — moving from Warner Bros. to Sony before landing at Netflix — with Black overseeing things through it all. As for the movie’s future, both Mattel and Amazon MGM Studios declined to comment.
Mattel’s Masters of the Universe toy line initially launched in 1982. The franchise’s first animated series, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, aired from 1983 to 1985. Since then, it has spawned a number of spin-offs, reboots, and revivals. The first (and, to date, only) live-action Masters of the Universe film released in theaters in 1987. It starred Dolph Lundgren as He-Man.
Why Netflix dropped Masters of the Universe
As previously mentioned, the Nee brothers’ planned live-action reboot has gone through numerous iterations over the past few years. Noah Centineo was attached to play He-Man when the movie was still being developed at Sony. Centineo exited the project when Netflix picked it up, at which point Allen entered the picture.
The move to Netflix seemed to make sense, seeing as how the streaming giant is already home to animated series like He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (2021-2022), Masters of the Universe: Revelation, and She-Ra and the Princesses of Power (a reboot of an ’80s He-Man spin-off). However, earlier this year, Variety broke the news that Netflix would no longer be moving forward with the live-action Masters of the Universe movie.
Reportedly, Netflix’s decision to scrap Masters of the Universe came down to the film’s budget. After sinking an estimated $30 million into development, the streamer was apparently unwilling to approve the proposed $200 million production budget. The Nee brothers supposedly worked with their producers to bring the film’s budget down to $180 million (including development costs). However, Netflix still shot down the idea.
Still, while Netflix is seen as the de facto home of all things He-Man these days, a move to Amazon would not be entirely unprecedented. In 2021, the company began developing a live-action She-Ra series — presumably for its Prime Video streaming service.