4 Things Netflix's Live-Action He-Man Movie Needs To Do To Be Successful

Will Dolph Lundgren return in some capacity?

For the past few years, fans of He-Man and the rest of the Masters Of The Universe characters have been clamoring for a proper live-action version of the iconic toy line, comic series, and cartoon. Sure, we were so graciously given the live-action train wreck that is 1987’s Masters Of The Universe, but it’s about time someone does the character some justice. Well, look no further as there is word that the long-planned Sony reboot soon might find its way to Netflix, we just don’t know when this will happen.

When this version of Masters Of The Universe finally enters production, the film’s directors, Aaron and Adam Nee, aren’t going to have it easy. They will need to find the delicate balance between paying homage to the original series and forging a new path. Rely to heavily on replicating elements from the first feature-length film and you’ll prevent younger audiences from getting attached. Try to act like the past never happened and you’ll ostracize millions of fans who grew up collecting He-Man action figures. Basically, it’s not the most enviable of positions.

The most important thing, however, is that this new movie is actually good. Sure, the original film later became a beloved cult classic, but it took years for the movie to gain momentum after bringing in $17 million at the box office. The new film on Netflix will need to hit the ground running hard in order to not get lost in the shuffle of the ever-growing collection of movies and series that pop up on Netflix every day.

Here are just a few of the things the Netflix live-action Masters Of The Universe movie needs in order to be successful.

Noah Centineo is up for the task of playing He-Man

Start With A Great Cast

The Masters Of The Universe reboot has already gotten off to an early start in the casting department. It was revealed several months ago that Noah Centineo of the recently released To All The Boys: P.S. I Still Love You had been cast to portray He-Man in the upcoming picture. While he’s not quite a household name at this point in his career, Centineo has made a name for himself in the new romantic comedy as well as its predecessor, To All the Boys I've Loved Before.

To show how committed he is to faithfully portray one of the greatest fictional characters from the 1980s, Centineo put on a staggering 30 pounds of muscle. To attain his new physique, Centineo ate as many as 11 eggs for breakfast every day. Centineo has since been forced to shed some of that weight after the film was met with delays after Sony Pictures contemplated what to do with the film that was at one point preparing for a 2021 theatrical release.

With He-Man taken care of, it’s time to look at his most formidable foe, Skeletor, and the actors who could take an already great performance by Frank Langella in the original film and turn it up a notch. Ideally, you would want someone who could lose himself in the role as well as an actor who could pull off the look of Skeletor either through prosthetic work or motion capture. If we’re going that route, then Andy Serkis is the man for the job.

Looking back on Serkis’ portrayal of Gollum in The Lord Of Rings trilogy and then as Supreme Leader Snoke in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Star Wars: The Last Jedi, it’s easy to see how he could pull off playing a believable Skeletor. In addition to being a tremendous motion capture and voice actor, Serkis would also bring some name recognition to the project.

Skeletor (Frank Langella) trying to find his good side

Don’t Over-Complicate The Story

One of the biggest issues with the original Masters Of The Universe was the convoluted plot that saw action on both Earth and Eternia. The jumping back and forth between the two worlds did nothing but slow down the movie and create an unnecessarily complicated story that introduced way too many characters.

This time around, it would better suit the movie to have everything take place on Eternia. Sure, we might miss out on Courtney Cox’s character this time around, but we’ll have a more streamlined narrative if the movie focuses primarily on Eternia and Castle Grayskull. By keeping everything on one planet, the filmmakers could dedicate more time in creating one cohesive look for the film instead of having that weird juxtaposition of elements from Eternia looking out of place on Earth and vice versa.

By eliminating characters from Earth, the film could give more screen time to Masters Of The Universe staples like Battle-Cat, She-Ra, Orko, Man-At-Arms, and Evil-Lyn.

Andy Serkis could bring expertise in acting and motion-capture to the project

Make Sure To Have Believable Visual Effects

Another one of the major issues of the original Masters Of The Universe movie is the terrible visual effects. Sure, effects weren’t what they are now way back in the late 1980s, but it’s all but impossible to suspend your disbelief when watching any of the action sequences from the original film. In the 33 years since the film’s release, advances in CGI and other visual effects practices have made it to where it’s nearly impossible to differentiate between what’s real and what’s created by a computer.

If the filmmakers can put a lot of money and talent behind the creation of believable CGI, there’s a strong chance that they can pull off this movie and bring a lot of people to Netflix to watch it. This would be another reason to bring Andy Serkis on to play Skeletor as Serkis also has experience behind the camera of some of cinema’s greatest motion-capture performances. You would need someone who understands a great deal about what goes into motion-capture shots, especially for a movie that has so many non-human characters that would need to be brought to life.

The He-Man cartoon series is also getting a new look

Tie The Movie Together With The Other He-Man Projects On Netflix

Netflix is already home to multiple He-Man and Masters Of The Universe projects, so why not tie them all together and allow each property to build off one another. It has been reported that Kevin Smith’s animated series, Masters Of The Universe: Revelations will feature some pretty major stars for its voice cast, including Mark Hamill, Kevin Conroy, Lena Headey, and Sarah Michelle Gellar to name a few. There will also be a CGI retelling of the original cartoon series that will be hosted by Netflix in the near future.

With all of those resources at their fingertips, it would be smart for Netflix to create one centralized universe for He-Man and the rest of the property’s beloved heroes and villains. This could be a tremendous way to build up the hype for the movie ahead of its release and could also provide an avenue for all the exposition that will be needed to properly tell the story of He-Man and his battles to protect Castle Grayskull from the evil Skeletor.

With all that being said, there’s a strong chance the Masters Of The Universe Netflix movie is successful and brings more eyes to the storied franchise. And who knows, maybe we’ll see Dolph Lundgren or Frank Langella come back for a brief cameo at some point. I mean, they do have the power to do so.

Philip Sledge
Content Writer

Philip grew up in Louisiana (not New Orleans) before moving to St. Louis after graduating from Louisiana State University-Shreveport. When he's not writing about movies or television, Philip can be found being chased by his three kids, telling his dogs to stop barking at the mailman, or chatting about professional wrestling to his wife. Writing gigs with school newspapers, multiple daily newspapers, and other varied job experiences led him to this point where he actually gets to write about movies, shows, wrestling, and documentaries (which is a huge win in his eyes). If the stars properly align, he will talk about For Love Of The Game being the best baseball movie of all time.