The action figures and dolls that dominated the 1980s are returning to the big screen, again. Mattel, the toy company behind He-Man and the Masters of the Universe and the entire Barbie toyline has developed a brand-new movie studio called Mattel Films.
On Friday, numerous media outlets reported the formation of Mattel Films, which will be headed by producer Robbie Brenner, most famous for her work on the Oscar-nominated film Dallas Buyer’s Club. “Robbie is a gifted storyteller and a highly respected filmmaker with deep relationships in entertainment,” said the Mattel CEO, Ynon Kreiz. “She is the perfect leader to bring our celebrated brands to life.”
What “bringing the brands to life,” means for Mattel Films remains unclear. Those of us who were around in 1987 still remember the bizarre, if well-intentioned Dolph Lungren live-action He-Man movie; Masters of Universe. (After all, it was Courtney Cox’s first big movie!) Since then, there have been threats from Hollywood to make another live-action He-Man film. In fact, Sony Pictures has tentatively slated a He-Man movie written by David S. Goyer (Suicide Squad) for release sometime next year. As of April of this year, Aaron and Adam Nee were tapped to direct the movie. It’s unclear how Mattel Pictures and Brenner fits into all of this. Perhaps the in-development He-Man movie will continue, but now be managed, Marvel-style, by Mattel Films.
And, even if it’s not clear what happens with the next He-Man film, there’s also the idea that Mattel could really make a live-action version of Barbie. What would a Barbie live-action movie even look like in the 21st Century? If we’re lucky, nothing like the Barbie shows on Netflix right now.
For now, until more concrete He-Man news comes out, here’s a classic trailer of Prince Adam himself turning into his famous alter-ego. Still, you gotta wonder, why did he even bother with the secret identity when the only difference was one guy wore a lot less clothing than the other guy? Anybody ever get half-naked and wave a sword around to conceal their real identity?