Sony Pictures hopes David Goyer has the power. The Dark Knight writer is in talks to direct the Masters of the Universe film. Goyer would be a big get for this potential franchise. He knows all about building a successful cinematic juggernaut. But call me cynical or jaded when it comes to the treatment of my 80s properties, I can’t work up any real excitement.
Maybe it’s the tarnish of the Michael Bay Transformers films? Or the shoddy treatment of the GI Joe license. More than anything else, I just don’t trust Sony to fully commit to doing Masters of the Universe right.
It’s that pesky issue of companies taking a beloved license and gradually stripping all the parts of it that helped audiences connect to it in the first place. And with a license like Masters of the Universe, there’s just too many opportunities for compromising.
That was evident with the 1987 film. Besides a well-cast Dolph Lundgren and Frank Langella, the film lost all the color, spectacle and imagination. The Masters came to Earth of all places and hung out with a pre-Friends Courtney Cox. Masters was a precursor to the 2000 comic book trend as all the characters were in dull, boring black armor. In the quest to make the 2019 film ‘relatable’ and grounded, I can easily see some watered-down version that comes off more like a superhero film instead of the ideal hybrid of the MOTU license.
But if Goyer is Sony’s guy and he can keep his film true to the source material this is one of the few properties that could hang with Marvel Studios or Star Wars. That’s because MOTU is pretty much a superhero comic book in a sci-fi world.
MOTU has a rich mythology to draw from with an easy framework for a trilogy. He-Man and company battle Skeletor and his warriors in the first film. Then with his sister, Adora aka She-Ra, the Masters battle Hordak and the Evil Horde with the third film pitting everyone against the Snake-Men.
Just like the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Masters has a slew of colorful and unique characters. Each film could roll out 5-7 new characters with no trouble.
I’ll be cautiously optimistic about this one, but I won’t start getting excited until I start seeing some costume designs and the plot synopsis.