A live-action movie based on the He-Man toy, as well as several of his Mattel-manufactured friends, called Masters of the Universe, has now been pulled from production at Netflix despite around $30 million already being spent.
The eye-watering amount of cash has already been thrown at developing the prospective movie and keeping a hold on its cast and crew, including previous lead actor Kyle Allen and the directors Adam and Aaron Nee.
Masters of the Universe has already gone through its fair share of production problems, having been through two other studios, Sony Pictures and Warner Bros, and other writers, including John M. Chu.
The biggest problem for the film looks to have been budgetary, and the most recent figures had come in at a potential $200 million spend, not something Netflix were keen to finance given their recent subscriber losses.
Mattel CEO Ynon Kreiz recently told The New Yorker, “It’s as big as Marvel and DC. It’s hundreds of pages of characters and sorcerers and vehicles and weaponry – you name it. And then you flip through the pages, and here’s a movie, and here’s a movie, and here’s a TV show… it’s endless!”
Director Aaron Nee had previously told Variety that he and his brother were excited about the prospect of taking on the film. “It was very important to us that with Masters of the Universe, we hold onto what that was for us as kids,” he said. “It wasn’t silly to us or absurd to us; it had a depth and a meaning to it.”
Nee continued, [We wanted to] “hold onto something that has a core human empathy to it and yet isn’t afraid to have fun and get crazy… what we’re going to be able to do in this movie is gonna blow people away.” However, it looks like that dream has faded into non-existence now.