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The Dark Knight and Man of Steel writer David S. Goyer penned a script a few years back for Sony Pictures and Mattel Films. The studio decided not to move forward on the project, but during The Hollywood Reporter’s deep-dive career-retrospective interview, Goyer offered up some intriguing details on his unmade Masters of the Universe script.
“I legitimately liked the script that we did,” said Goyer, who, in 2017, was also in talks to direct the film. “What I liked the most about it was that it was mostly about a friendship between He-Man and Battle Cat. The idea was there had always been He-Men and different recipients of the Sword of Power, and that Battle Cat had always served at their side. And this was a new He-Man that Battle Cat and many people didn’t think was worthy of the sword. So it was a story of the character earning the sword but, more importantly, earning the friendship of Battle Cat, who just thought this guy was a lightweight. I really liked it. I thought it was a fun story. There was a lot of humor in it, and it creeps up on you because Battle Cat sort of grudgingly accepts him, and it’s Battle Cat’s acceptance of He-Man that gave this version of the story heart.”
A new live-action Masters of the Universe movie has roots going all the way back to 2008, having gone through many writers and directors who wrestled with how best to adapt the sci-fi cartoon. In addition to Goyer, writers Christopher Yost, Matt Holloway and Art Marcum also have reportedly taken a pass on the script. Over the years, Aaron and Adam Nee were also in talks to direct, as was G.I. Joe: Retaliation director Jon M. Chu and McG. In 2019, Sony even announced the film for a March 5, 2021, release date with actor Noah Centineo (The Fosters) reportedly chosen to play He-Man. But the studio later pulled the film from its schedule. The film remains in development.
It’s not clear how much the recent planned shooting script resembled the above description, but it all makes for a fun “what if.” Back in 2015, Columbia executive DeVon Franklin caused fan buzz by tweeting what appeared to be preproduction concept art of Battle Cat.
— DeVon Franklin (@DeVonFranklin) March 3, 2015
A live-action Masters of the Universe film was previously made (pictured below) in 1987 and starred Dolph Lundgren as the Sword of Power-weilding hulk. Yet, despite the original He-Man cartoon still airing on TV, the film was a box office flop. Netflix’s new animated series (pictured above) from Kevin Smith drops July 23.
See Goyer’s complete in-depth interview discussing his work on The Dark Knight, Man of Steel, The Tomorrow War, and his upcoming “big-ass swing” projects, including Netflix’s Sandman and Apple TV+’s Foundation.
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