A new live-action adaptation of Masters of the Universe is officially scheduled to begin production later this year. But while Prague was originally expected to be a production locale for He-Man’s return to the big screen, the current suspension of Czech film incentives calls that into question.
A Sony-produced Masters of the Universe film was slated to film in Prague during the summer of 2019, with Netflix heartthrob Noah Centineo cast as He-Man and Adam Nee and Aaron Nee directing from a script by Art Marcum and Matt Holloway (Uncharted).
While that iteration of the project ultimately never materialized, Mattel Films announced last week that Netflix had overtaken development of the project, which is now expected to enter production this summer.
The Nee brothers are still directing, but West Side Story actor Kyle Allen has replaced Centineo as He-Man, with the latest version of the script penned by Dave Callaham (Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings). Additional cast members have yet to be confirmed.
“Masters of the Universe is an iconic property that shaped the imaginations of an entire generation of kids with the message of becoming the best version of yourself,” Mattel Films executive producer Robbie Brenner said in a press release issued last week.
“With our partners at Netflix, we look forward to showing audiences that anything can happen in Eternia. We are continuing to unlock this global franchise in new ways, and we can’t wait to see Kyle battle it out with Skeletor in this epic live-action saga.”
According to Backstage.com, casting for Masters of the Universe is now underway, with the production slated to go before cameras this summer in both Prague and Vancouver. While Backstage is far from authoritative, it’s typically accurate as a heads-up resource for actors seeking casting calls in cities around the world.
However, currently-suspended production incentives in the Czech Republic may throw a wrench into plans for Masters of the Universe to shoot in Prague. Looking at the list of film projects that were registered with the Czech Film Fund by the end of last year, a He-Man or Masters of the Universe movie is nowhere to be found.
While the production should still be able to apply for incentives when the Czech Ministry of Culture sorts out their 2022 budget and the Czech Film Fund reopens applications for incentives (expected in March), the current cloud of uncertainty may force projects on the fast-track to production to search for alternate filming locations. (See here for more background on suspended film incentives in the Czech Republic.)
“We’ve always been inspired by the fantastical world of Eternia,” Masters of the Universe producers Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal and Steve Tisch stated in a press release for the film.
“This movie has been 14 years in the making for us and our partners and we are so excited to tell an entirely new story for Masters of the Universe with the Nee Brothers and Dave Callaham for Mattel and Netflix and share it with a global audience.”
With content-hungry Netflix now producing, odds of the He-Man movie going before cameras this summer are higher than before.
But whether Prague will be home to Eternia and Castle Grayskull remains to be seen.