Sony Almost Lost Masters Of The Universe

It's been over 30 years since a live-action Masters of the Universe has hit theatres. So long, in fact, that the current studio that owns the toy line's live-action rights almost lost out on the property altogether.

According to a new report from The Hollywood Reporter, Sony nearly lost the movie rights to the Masters of the Universe franchise after a frustrated Mattel began to shop the rights elsewhere. Since 2007, Sony has reportedly spent upwards of $15 million towards the development Masters of the Universe film, which has yet to exit the scripting stage.

Then late last year, the movie rights for two Mattel toy lines — Barbie and Masters of the Universe — expired at Sony, giving Mattel the opportunity to begin shopping the properties around. Fast forward a few months and Sony has only been able to keep the rights for one of those properties — the studio lost Barbie to their Burbank-based competitors at Warner Bros. Pictures.

After losing Barbie to a competing studio, Sony ponied up and entered "intense negotiations" with Mattel, eventually agreeing to a deal that kept Masters of the Universe at the studio. The latest report hints at rejuvenated feelings between Sony and Mattel as the former hired a pair of new writers to pen a new script for a movie in hopes of pushing forward into pre-production.

As recent as November, Iron Man writers Art Marcum and Matt Holloway took over scripting duties, joining Masters of the Universe after writing Men in Black: International, another franchise Sony is working to get off the ground again after a brief hiatus.

Thought a revolving carousel of directors have been attached to the project, brothers Adam and Aaron Nee (Band of Robbers) are reported to be the current helmers of the latest iteration of the flick.

Should Sony be able to develop another Masters of the Universe movie, it'd be the first since Dolph Lundgren starred as He-Man in Cannon's Masters of the Universe in 1987. Directed by Gary Goddard, the Lundgren-starring flick only grossed $17.3 million at the box office against a $22 million budget. The film has a present-day 17% Rotten rating on Rotten Tomatoes, being widely-panned by fans and critics alike.

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