Sony's long-gestating Masters of the Universe movie may skip releasing into theaters and go straight to Netflix instead. That's according to rumors reported today by The Hollywood Reporter. The film is currently slated for theatrical release in March 2021, but sources tell THR that Sony Pictures chairman Tom Rothman is considering minimizing risk by selling the expensive project to Netflix. The source says talks between Sony and Netflix are in the preliminary stages for now, but Sony wouldn't be the first major studio to make such a deal with Netflix. Paramount Pictures has struck deals to provide Netflix with exclusive content in the past, and other studios in the industry are likely to follow.
While sending the film to Netflix means getting a guaranteed payout, it could mean missing out on a bigger success. Masters of the Universe could be the kind of hit that becomes a franchise cornerstone of the like coveted by all of the major Hollywood studios these days. If that's the case, then selling to Netflix will yield a much slimmer payout than if Sony had sought out another studio or backer to help produce the project. Then again, by selling directly to Netflix, they'd have much less to lose if the film turns out to be a bomb.
The Masters of the Universe movie would find a natural home at Netflix, which is already the home of She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, a reboot of the Masters of the Universe spinoff series She-Ra: Princess of Power. Netflix also announced that Kevin Smith will be helming a new animated series titled Masters of the Universe: Revelation, which is a continuation of the original Masters of the Universe cartoon's story.
Sony has been working on bringing Masters of the Universe back to the big screen since taking over the film rights in 2009. The project has gone through several different versions and directors over the years. The film has cast Noah Centino in the lead role as He-Man.
"It's a really big responsibility." Centineo at the MTV Movie Awards. "This is like first one in, last one out every single day, which I've done before, but I've never done it on a studio level. Which, studio level is the same as indie, but like, they got playback... It's a big opportunity and I feel more than ready to tackle it."
As for the film itself, Centino said, "It's a new universe and it's a new studio and their take on a universe. The Nee brothers, Adam and Aaron Nee, they're directing it, and they're the filmmakers in charge of the story, and they are doing one hell of a job developing the world and all these things, so. I can't tell you what tone they're going for, but they're genius, so."
What do you think of the Masters of the Universe movie possibly heading to Netflix? Let us know in the comments. Masters of the Universe is currently set for a March 5, 2021 release.