Wait! A live-action He-Man TV show? Hear us out.
Ever since the incredible Masters of the Universe film, starring Dolph Lundgren and Frank Langella, was robbed of all the Oscars it deserved in the late ‘80s, fans have demanded a new He-Man movie. There have been numerous false starts and broken promises since then, as various film-makers and studios try to bring Eternia to the big screen again.
The latest attempt involved the internet’s favourite boyfriend, Noah Centineo, attached as Prince Adam/He-Man. But that news has also hit a dead-end, with rumours that any live-action film will go straight to Netflix in the future.
It’s disappointing news for fans of the beloved franchise, but maybe a film isn’t the right idea in the first place. With all the lore, colourful characters and enchanting world, can a live-action film truly capture the magic of He-Man in two hours?
After the success of The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, author George R. R. Martin received significant interest from producers and film-makers trying to scoop up the rights for A Song of Ice and Fire to adapt into the next big-budget fantasy film series. Fortunately, none of these deals materialised before HBO optioned the rights to create Game of Thrones.
While there are still many fans touchy about the final season of the show, there’s no doubt that the serialised format suited the story. From all the characters to important subplots and developments, there’s no way a film—or trilogy—would be able to capture the essence of Martin’s world quite like the show did.
Similarly, Masters of the Universe is in the same boat, as there’s almost too much content to encapsulate in one film. There are plans to create animated shows for Netflix, but a live-action He-Man TV show wouldn’t be a bad move either. The audience has seen how Netflix managed to adapt The Witcher, successfully, so what’s stopping the streaming service from tackling He-Man as well?
Imagine a talented showrunner like Damon Lindelof, Lisa Joy or Steven S. DeKnight poking into the dynamic between Skeletor and He-Man, while peeling back the layers of why Eternia is always in the mess it’s in. There’s even the potential for an Excalibur-inspired arc that could follow Prince Adam discovering the Power Sword, which is then split in two with Skeletor holding the other half. The whole conflict would be around them trying to get both parts to unlock Castle Grayskull—an angle touched upon in the original comics.
Right now, it doesn’t seem like Hollywood has much faith in a Masters of the Universe film. Instead of letting the franchise sit in a cupboard and gather cobwebs, it should receive the opportunity to be turned into a live-action TV show where there’s potential for multiple seasons of sword-and-sorcery fantasy. The world’s been asking for the next Game of Thrones; maybe it’s been right in front of us the whole time?