With news that a MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE movie is set to begin filming this year, it’s time to look at which of the property’s various personalities should appear in a feature film.
According to Omega Underground, a new film featuring 1980s cartoon icon He-Man and the Masters of the Universe is set to start filming in April, with David Goyer attached to write and direct the film for Sony. With no script and no announced cast, that may be a bit of a rush, but movie development can run ragged for decades before coming together in the blink of an eye.
The studio, according to the report, wants to hit a December 18, 2019 release, which is the announced date for Star Wars Episode IX, so that probably would be pushed back. For the record, I’m MUCH more excited for the prospect of a He-Man movie.
Sure, watching the original cartoon 30-plus years later leaves a lot to be desired, but there’s so much potential there. The 2002 reboot of the cartoon featured some amazing tales of Eternia and its inhabitants, before it was unceremoniously cancelled after the seconf season. A big budget reboot of He-Man, done right, could rival the LORD OF THE RINGS or even STAR WARS in terms of epic storytelling with dozens of established characters, civilizations and factions. A reboot of the property could become the classic MOTU fans didn’t get from the 1987 film.
The original Masters of the Universe toy line introduced a lot of great characters during its original run (from 1982-1988), and there are several I would love to see make an appearance – even if it’s just a cameo.
This list, which is in no particular order, comes with a couple of assumptions, though:
- Obviously, the main players in Eternia are going to appear, so I feel no need to include He-Man/Prince Adam, Cringer/Battle Cat, Man-At-Arms, Teela, Orko, The Sorceress, King Randor, Skeletor, Evil-Lynn or Beast Man on this list.
- I would leave characters from the legion of Snake Men, led by King Hiss, and Hordak’s Evil Horde, along with any and all members of the She-Ra cast, for a series of sequels.
With that said, let’s take a look at some of my favorite MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE characters, who should obviously appear in the upcoming movie:
This one is probably a given, as it’s one of the earliest Masters of the Universe figures released – and one of the best, simplest gimmicks of the early slate of figures. The Heroic Warrior had the ability to change his face from human form to a robot or a monster, giving him various abilities with each face. In MOTU canon, Man-E-Faces is an actor, who uses his abilities to enhance his performances. The character’s ability to switch from man to monster (who is susceptible to being controlled by Beast Man) to robot offers a lot of potential for plot development, as he can feature in giant fights or strategy sessions. As a cameo bonus, Man-E-Faces can bring in Roboto, who was created as a partner for the robotic personality to play Eternian chess with.
This was always one of my favorite Masters of the Universe figures from the 1980s line, a hulking two-tones brute with two heads and arms that would snap back to hit his foes. Two-Bad is one of Skeletor’s henchmen, though he only ever made one appearance in the original cartoon. We didn’t get a back story for the character until the 2002 reboot. There, we learned Two-Bad was originally two fairly generic bounty hunters, Tuvar and Baddhra, who failed to destroy He-Man at Skeletor’s behest. As a punishment, Skeletor fused the bounty hunters into one entity and drafted him into service as his newest lackey. Visually, Two-Bad is a great character and the dual identities in one could provide a good amount of comic relief.
Another character whose toy was developed too late for real inclusion in the original 1980s cartoon, Rio Blast was the lone survivor of a group of space explorers who decided to take on the mantle of sheriff of the (final) frontier. Rio Blast was another character who had a design that I absolutely loved, an Old West sheriff who had guns EVERYWHERE – in his chest, over his shoulder, attached to his forearms and popping down from his limbs. He’s a one-man arsenal! Sure, that may be a bit problematic for creating a figure in a toy line in today’s climate, but to me, the visual is just too great to pass up. Another cameo bonus – any telling of Rio Blast’s arrival on Eternia can include the Meteorbs – the rock people that can turn to animals – that brought him to the realm.
One of the things that made the Masters of the Universe toy line such a success in the 1980s was the unique character designs that made for a varied toy line. Blast Attack’s design wasn’t really anything groundbreaking – he was a character that exploded in half and could put himself back together to do it again. The character never appeared in the original cartoon, thanks to being created so late in the toy line’s life cycle, but there are a lot of uses for a robotic walking time bomb, especially considering that Skeletor really never had an army of his own to control. An army of robots marching on Castle Greyskull, randomly exploding, would be an amazing visual.
There are various races and civilizations strewn throughout Eternia, but the one with the best design has got to be the Andreenos, the civilization that gave birth to Buzz-Off, a giant humanoid bee who helps the Masters of the Universe in their battle against Skeletor’s forces. In his free time, Buzz-Off apparently likes to go get honey berries for the queen of Andreenos, but that’s neither here nor there. Also irrelevant, his real name is Tzzzzt zzz zzTTTzz. But the inclusion of Buzz-Off and the Andreenos opens up the geo-political issues of Eternia, as the Andreenos have issues with the people of Avion, the home of fellow heroic warrior Stratos.
Moss Man / Stinkor
Obviously, these guys go hand-in-hand, as the two figures of the original toy line that had one unique particular gimmick – they both emanated a special scent. Moss Man was like a pine tree air freshener while Stinkor was a giant humanoid skunk. Though the two characters are usually paired together in appearances, Moss Man and Stinkor don’t really have anything to do with each other. Moss Man is basically Eternia’s version of Swamp Thing, a champion of the planet’s flora who agrees to help He-Man when he is called on. Stinkor, on the other hand, is a Paeleezean named Odiphus who betrayed his people and later exiled. Both characters are visually striking – like many of the Masters of the Universe – and allow for any number of story options.
What characters would you like to see in a Masters of the Universe movie? Talk it out in the comments!