'Masters of the Universe' Movie Pushed Back to 2020

The long and winding road to getting He-Man and the Masters of the Universe released in theaters has just gotten a little bit longer; the industry-connected Exhibitor Relations Twitter account notes that Sony has officially pushed the movie out of its December 2019 slot and into 2020 with an exact release date to be determined. The film is currently without an official cast, although Adam and Aaron Nee have been attached to direct since January, with Noah Centineo reportedly being eyed to play He-Man and Prince Adam. (Even that may not be accurate, as Sony has no director or star listed.) The film will reportedly begin production in July, which would have made a four-month turnaround borderline impossible anyway, so it could be that this new release date means almost nothing in terms of the film's actual production.

Masters of the Universe had a live-action adaptation in the '80s, but it was...not great. The circumstances around its production have been much-discussed, and the movie's ending apparently had to be reworked on the spot when money ran out. The property -- in toys, animation, and film -- has been a shadow of its former self since the late '80s, and Mattel likely hopes that a major motion picture will help put He-Man and his friends back on the map. The Netflix hit She-Ra and the Princesses of Power is an update of the original She-Ra 1985-86 TV series, which centered on He-Man's twin sister.

The movie has been in development since 2007, with dozens of screenwriters and directors attached over the years, including Joel Silver, Jeff Wadlow, and McG. David S. Goyer, best known for his work on the Dark Knight trilogy, Man of Steel, and other gritty superhero fare, originally wrote a screenplay with an eye toward directing, and while it will not be used, he will keep his executive producer credit. Centineo is best known for his role in Netflix's To All The Boys I've Loved Before.

Masters of the Universe centers on the battle for power between He-Man and Skeletor, who represent good and evil respectively in the realm of Eternia. He-Man is flanked by a colorful cast of supporting characters, almost none of whom made it into the 1987 movie since that one took place almost entirely on Earth. Skeletor's goal -- to rule the universe -- is a road he sees as going through Castle Grayskull, the source of He-Man's powers and the home of The Sorceress.

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