Netflix has finally pulled the plug on Masters Of The Universe after years of hesitation and a spiralling development budget.
The power of Grayskull it seems, will only get you so far. Loyal Masters Of The Universe fans have long clung to the hope that Netflix would eventually get going on a live action film featuring He-Man and other characters from the Mattel toy line, but they’ll be disappointed to learn that the project is no more. Masters Of The Universe has been in development for years at Netflix (not to mention previously being in development at both Warner Bros and Sony) and in the wake of the project’s cancellation, that tortured development process seems to have been part of the problem.
During the project’s protracted development time, it’s already said to have racked up $30m in costs, although some are suggesting that the actual figure is more likely to be double that. Either way, that’s a lot of red ink to try and reckon with before a frame of film has been shot, especially in this new phase for streamers where profitability has succeeded growth as the key driver for success.
Variety broke the story and the outlet is reporting that Netflix simply can’t figure out how to make the project for $150m, a budgetary ceiling that the streamer is not prepared to break. As it stands, whatever Masters Of The Universe looks like at the moment, it’s coming in at around $200m and as we saw a few months ago with Paris Paramount, the expensive Nancy Meyers project that the streamer balked at, this newer, more fiscally-responsible version of Netflix simply aren’t wildly throwing cash at projects quite like it used to.
Kyle Allen has been in place as Prince Adam/He-Man for some time now as have the scrapped film’s directors, Adam and Aaron Nee, helmers of The Lost City. It’s a shame for them and the same goes for Masters Of The Universe fans who are a loyal and enthusiastic lot who seem to have been waiting for a long, long time for a MOTU movie only to glimpse false dawn after false dawn.
There is at least another series of Kevin Smith’s animated series coming to Netflix at some point, but as for a live action movie, it looks like that process is going nowhere quickly.
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