The live-action feature, which is eying a summer 2022 start date, will be directed by the Nee brothers (The Lost City) from a screenplay they wrote with Shang-Chi scribe David Callaham. Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal and Steve Tisch will produce, along with DeVon Franklin. Robbie Brenner and Kevin McKeon will oversee the project for Mattel Films.
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The Masters of the Universe lore centers around an orphan named Adam, who discovers he is a prince destined to be the savior of a far-away land and must quickly learn how to use his power to save his home from the evil Skeletor.
Mattel’s iconic sword-and-sorcery franchise began as a series of action figures and has seen multiple screen iterations. An ’80s animated series was followed by a 1987 live-action fantasy film, which starred Dolph Lundgren as He-Man. This most recent live-action Master of the Universe was previously in development at Sony, where at one point To All the Boys star Noah Centineo was tapped to play the sword-carrying hero. The Nee brothers were also attached to direct the feature at Sony.
Sony will retain the rights, both theatrical and streaming, to the film in China. (Netflix does not operate in the country.)
Netflix is already home to two Masters of the Universe adaptations — a 2D animated series Masters of the Universe: Revelation from showrunner Kevin Smith features Mark Hamill, Lena Headey, Chris Wood and Sarah Michelle Gellar as voice talent. The streaming service also has the CG-animated series He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, which will soon debut its second season.
Allen most recently appeared onscreen in Steven Spielberg’s reimagining of the classic musical West Side Story. His other credits include the series American Horror Story and The Path, as well as the coming-of-age feature The Map of Tiny Perfect Things. He is repped by UTA, Management 360 and Hansen Jacobson.