It looks like Netflix is losing a popular action franchise to Amazon. This comes after Netflix spent as much as $30 million to try and create a new installment in said franchise.
Netflix’s $30 million was spent across more than two years to try and get the project off the ground. Though Netflix “walked away when the tentpole’s budget, originally set for more than $200 million, could not be meaningfully reduced.” Kyle Allen was intended to star in the film.
A new report reveals that “Amazon MGM Studios is in serious talks to mount a live-action ‘Masters of the Universe‘ movie from Adam and Aaron Nee, the writing and directing team behind ‘The Lost City.'” Variety also points out that Netflix dropped their “planned version of the Nee brothers film in July.”
On that note, nothing is quite set in stone at this time. Variety notes that “the Amazon talks are tenuous, another source cautions, but should the studio advance, it will need to close new deals with the Nees for a script polish and to direct.” Additionally, Kyle Allen is also still attached to star in the film as He-Man.
Furthermore, while Netflix would have no doubt approached a release on its streaming service, Amazon could very well release such a film in theaters. “Mattel and producer Todd Black, who has been devoted to the film across multiple former studio homes, including Warner Bros. and Sony, will also be seeking a significant theatrical release,” the site adds.
The biggest issue with the film, at this time, appears to be a number of rights issues. Mattel previously made a deal that allowed them to “explored ‘Masters‘ characters for filmed adaptations through 2026.” The rights would then revert back to DreamWorks Animation. However, NBCUniversal now owns DreamWorks Animation, which would make them the rightsholder. Now they’d reportedly have to make a deal to extend Mattel’s rights in order to make the movie happen.
Interestingly, Courtenay Valenti happens to be Amazon’s new head of theatrical film and streaming. She previously worked as head of production at Warner Bros., which included working on this year’s box office hit Barbie. Valenti clearly has a knack for toy-based properties, and if Barbie is any indication, she could be eager to recreate its box office success with Masters of the Universe.