The new He-Man and the Masters of the Universe movie is once again in search of a director.

News Mike Cecchini Joseph Baxter

Feb 12, 2018

The Masters of the Universe movie is still in development, despite a production quagmire befitting of the worse parts of Eternia. (Omega Underground had it pegged to begin production in April.)

While the movie currently has a December 18, 2019 release date, it’s had a revolving door of directors and writers. At one point, David Goyer had been reported as its writer (more on him later). There was a script by Alex Litvak and Mike Finch. There had been a draft by Jeff Wadlow that was completed in late 2014 (that itself was a rewrite of a draft by Terry Rossio). Sony then tapped Christopher Yost for another rewrite. Now it’s in the hands of Lindsey Beer. – Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal, and Steve Tisch are producing.

Then there’s the directors, with the film previously pegged to be helmed by McG, whose exit was followed by the auspicious entrance of David Goyer as writer and director. Goyer WAS a good choice for director, since incredible attention to the worldbuilding of Krypton in Man of Steel made us wonder what he could do with Eternia. – Which makes the latest bit of news somewhat vexing. But Goyer is OUT as Masters of the Universe director, according to Variety.

While he will reportedly remain onboard the project as screenwriter and executive producer, Goyer – a prolific genre-centric screenwriter whose directorial resume is highlighted by 2004’s Blade: Trinity and 2009’s The Unborn – has ceded the director’s chair due to commitments centering on his development of TV miniseries Foundation, which adapts the sci-fi novel trilogy of author Isaac Asimov.

Consequently, the Masters of the Universe movie is once again in search of a filmmaking visionary to sit on the throne inside its proverbial Castle Grayskull.

The film’s now-former director, David Goyer, had been subtly indicating that Masters of the Universe is moving along smoothly in development. While back in December, he posted a photo of himself looking over some (hard to discern) concept art samples, his latest post gives us a little more insight into the potential aesthetics of the film.

%u201CSo right around here, I am looking for MORE COWBELL%u201D

A post shared by David S. Goyer (@phantomfour) on

As you can see (with the help of a lot of squinting), Goyer is depicted discussing a piece of concept art of an extremely high-tech-looking – very sci-fi-ish – piece labelled “Teela Battle Suit.” Of course, Teela – warrior woman, member of the titular Masters of the Universe and would-be love interest for Prince Adam/He-Man – is the main female of the He-Man/MOTU mythology (at least until She-Ra showed up,) and it appears that this “Battle Suit” could be part of her arsenal at some point in the film.

While the image appears the be a major aesthetic departure from Masters of the Universe’s swords, loincloths and stone castles, it should be noted that its mythology has always showcased the anachronistic clash of a magic and mysticism-filled quasi-feudal otherworld in which extremely advanced technology from outer space also happens to exist.

Here’s the photo Goyer posted back in December.

Just werkin through lunch

A post shared by David S. Goyer (@phantomfour) on

Masters of the Universe Movie Release Date

Sony has scheduled this for a December 18, 2019 release. It will have to make that April production start date if it’s going to make it in time for this.

Masters of the Universe Movie Cast

At one point, back in the McG days, the director met with someone who at least has the muscles and blond hair one would expect from a potential He-Man, The Legend of Hercules star, Kellan Lutz. “I like Kellan very much,” McG told IGN last August. “Obviously, we need a talented entertainer, but we also need a certain physicality, which he embodies. He’ll be considered very, very closely…we had a great meeting, and he’s passionate about He-Man, he’s passionate about the Adam story.”

For context, last June, Mr. Lutz dropped this little gem on social media…

It doesn’t seem like it would be too much of a stretch, does it?

After McG’s departure, Entertainment Weekly reported that “many actors, including A-list talent, are vying for key roles.” We don’t know if this means Mr. Lutz is still in the running for He-Man.

Masters of the Universe Movie Story

Under McG, the plan was to make this an origin story. “It’s the genesis of He-Man, it’s the becoming of He-Man.” He also confirmed that in addition to He-Man and Skeletor we’ll see characters like Battle Cat and Evil-Lyn in the movie, and that it will be set primarily on Eternia. Although he did nod to a rather obscure piece of He-Man mythology by saying “Earth is mentioned, as Earth is a part of the lore.” This would seem to be a reference to a deleted scene from a draft in the first Masters of The Universe movie that revealed Eternia had been colonized by astronauts from Earth in the distant past.

Again, whether any of this remains with Mr. Goyer on board remains to be seen.

Masters of the Universe Movie Concept Art

Back in 2015, after being told by a fan on Twitter that if Guardians of the Galaxy could hit $700 million at the worldwide box-office, then a new He-Man movie should have no problem raking in the bucks, co-producer Devon Franklin responded in the affirmative, and then dropped some Battle Cat concept art.

He previously revealed an official looking title card for the movie, too (IndieRevolver tipped us off to this)

As ridiculous as this might sound, I hope that the new Masters of the Universe movie takes a somewhat serious approach to the source material. Justin Marks’ now discarded Grayskull: The Masters of the Universe script was a fairly logical reimagining of the He-Man mythology, and done properly, with the right amount of world-building, the realm of Eternia could do well as a franchise. They just have to get around some of those names!

We’ll let you know more when we hear it. I have a lot of positive feelings about the 1987 movie, though, which you can read about here.

Mike Cecchini has the power…but only on the internet Follow him on Twitter.