Has Skeletor hexed the live-action ‘Masters of the Universe’ film? After spending literal DECADES in development hell, it was finally on its way, under Sony’s guidance. Twin brothers Aaron and Adam Nee are set to co-direct, working from a screenplay by Art Marcum and Matt Holloway. Davis S. Goyer, who was at one time attached to direct, was among the executive producers. And heartthrob Noah Centineo was actively packing on the muscle to portray the ridiculously ripped barbarian hero, He-Man. Sony had confidence that this picture would finally get made and scheduled it to be released on March 5, 2021.
Now word has surfaced that Sony may wind up dumping it on Netflix rather than releasing it in theaters. Sony is flying high after the $1 billion success of ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’, and Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood’ is the top-grossing original film of the year. But Sony has also had a string of underperformers and outright flops, the worst being the expensive ‘Men in Black: International’, which Sony had hoped would kick off a new franchise. Sony is reportedly looking to avoid another expensive, high-profile dud.
An insider told The Hollywood Reporter that “studio chairman Tom Rothman is exploring the prospect of getting risk-free cash for the pricey project by making it for Netflix instead.” Talks are said to be preliminary, but this is now a possibility. The streaming service has been actively striving to create hit blockbusters that can compete with cinematic films. Now, it appears that the studios have decided that they can’t beat streaming, so they’re joining them. Sony and Paramount are both looking to dedicate a portion of their focus to creating product exclusively for Netflix and possibly other outlets.
In Netflix’s favor is the fact that it is already home to the Dreamworks revival of ‘She-Ra’, starring He-Man’s sister (at least in the classic mythology), and will be home to a ‘Masters of the Universe’ anime from Kevin Smith. Also, Noah Centineo’s young career has basically been built on Netflix. After first gaining notice on Freeform’s ‘The Fosters’ (which was available on Netflix… not sure if it still is), he broke out by starring in the teen romantic comedies ‘To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before’ and ‘The Perfect Date’. The former was so popular, that Centineo has already wrapped the sequel, ‘To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You’ and is now filming a third picture, which, for now, is only known as ‘To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before 3’.
That brings up an important fact– ‘Masters of the Universe’ hasn’t started filming yet. If Sony is so worried that it will flop, why not just not make it? Sure they’ve already dumped a few million into pre-production, but why not cut off the cash flow if they don’t think it’ll be a blockbuster?
Sony recently sold off ‘Harbinger’ based on the Valiant Comics series to Paramount. Sony is still set to release ‘Bloodshot’ based on another Valiant comic, starring Vin Diesel, but prior to selling off ‘Harbinger’ it was believed that Sony was planning to weave these films together as the start of another shared universe. But this is an example of Sony curbing its losses on a project it wasn’t completely confident in.
Check back for updates, but were you looking forward to ‘Masters of the Universe’ finally hitting the big screen? How would you feel about it going straight to Netflix?