If you grew up in the 80’s you are probably quite familiar with He-Man And The Masters Of The Universe. The show featured a colorful cast of characters set on the planet of Eternia, a sort of Swords and Sandals meets Sci-Fi world where Prince Adam protected Eternia and Castle Greyskull from the evil Skeletor and his minions as the super hero He-Man.
With such a diverse and large ensemble of heroes and villains, Masters Of The Universe is probably best known as being one of the biggest toy lines during it’s time, competing with G.I. Joe, Transformers and Star Wars for your dollar. And after a live action movie more known for its cheesiness and a less than successful cartoon reboot, He-Man has remained as little more than a nostalgic memory.
However, with recent talks of another big budget Masters Of The Universe movie floating around Hollywood since Transformers proved that there was money to be had in fanboy nostalgia, and with such gritty shows like Spartacus and Game Of Thrones becoming huge hits for premium channels, maybe it is time for another childhood favorite to make a comeback.
Jay Oliva, story board artist who has worked on several of DC’s best animated movies, recently pitched an idea for a live action Masters Of The Universe reboot on Adi Shanker’s The Bootleg Universe Pitch Show. This gritty reboot would see Eternia as a morally grey world where He-Man and friends would still battle against Skeletor and his army, but with a tone more like Game of Thrones. The two sides would eventually be forced to set aside their differences when the Ancient Hordak (The main villain from He-Man spin off She-Ra) returns to threaten all of Eternia.
Oliva even hinted at the idea of Prince Adam and He-Man might be played by two different people to further the physical separation between the characters and could possibly play off of ideas introduced in the recent comic books such as Skeletor being the illegitimate half brother to King Randor. Oliva would be taking the Walking Dead route with no one being safe, even mentioning King Randor, Skeletor and She-Ra as potential deaths in the show.
Gritty Reboots to fan favorite shows have had a less than stellar record of success in the past especially of child favortites like this. Thundercats, while still animated, lasted only a single season, garnering critical raves, but just couldn’t bring in the viewers. However, I am still waiting on the gritty Care Bears movie by Quinten Tarantino, or maybe a potty mouthed Mr. Rogers by Kevin Smith. One can dream, can’t they?