After years of rumors and speculation, a new Masters of the Universe film is coming. Slated for a Dec. 19, 2019 release, there’s plenty of time for Sony Pictures to get it right this time.
Of all the 80s properties not named Transformers, Masters of the Universe should be a major hit. One that shouldn’t have a problem launching a franchise. If it’s done correctly. So here’s four non-solicited tips to make the new Masters of the Universe film the next great franchise.
1. Cater to the fans first
At this point, the mainstream audience could care less about this announcement. You know who is stoked? The fan base who can go into detail about Stratos, Man-E-Faces and the Snake Men. Just once make a movie that keeps the hardcore fans throughout the development process.
There’s a reason a property launched in 1984 is getting a movie now — it works. Don’t do wholesale changes that make it unrecognizable. And trust that a film faithful to the source material will connect with mainstream audiences. Keep in mind, a decade ago only comic book fans were excited about the possibility of an Avengers movie.
2. Embrace the material
Masters of the Universe is one of the most unique properties ever. It’s a mix of Conan the Barbarian, Star Wars, King Arthur, Superman and even a little Lords of the Rings. The best filmmaker will embrace all of these elements and not just frame it as a weak PG version of The Terminator.
The right director can smoothly weave in the sci-fi aspects of many of the Masters of the Universe, the fantasy bits from Skeletor’s minions and He-Man makes for an easy comic book superhero thrown into the fray. There’s truly a little something for everyone here. Just don’t take the story to Earth.
3. Slow build the universe
MOTU has an easy franchise set up. The first film focuses on the threat of Skeletor and his evil warriors; the sequel deals with the menace of the Evil Horde. The third film can see the arrival of The Snake Men. But the key to making it all work? Don’t rush it.
Slowly roll out the Masters, introducing a few more with each film. Maybe just roll with He-Man, Teela, Orko, Man-at-Arms, Stratos, Ram Man and Man-E-Faces for the first installment. And from there, work in Fisto, Clamp Champ, Rio Blast, Extendar, Sy-Klone, etc.
This is a huge universe with a ton of excellent characters worthy of exploring. Play your cards right and the fourth film could transition to a She-Ra spinoff.
4. Don’t take it too seriously
Above all else, this is most important. There’s secret identities; bumbling yet menacing henchmen, mystical sorcerers and talking tigers. The last thing this film needs is to go for a gritty, realistic approach. Go bold, bright and colorful with the costumes. You don’t see anyone cosplaying as the characters from the movie at cons, do you?
Have fun with it and the audience will too. Save the serious, thoughtful fantasy Oscar-aspiring films for another property.
Sony has more than enough time to get this down and deliver a masterful version of Masters of the Universe. What would you want to see in the film?