Masters of the Universe, 1987
Good Journey to you, and welcome back to another exciting and enthralling episode of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! This week J. Blake and Dion Baia are revisiting a cult classic film that is tied to a legendary property that was one of the biggest franchises of the 1980s. So what do you get when you take a toy maker named Mattel® and have them shack up with the 80s action B-movie giant Cannon Films? You get the topic of this week’s podcast, Masters of the Universe, from 1987.
The boys set up the movie on hand by reminiscing about their memories of where and when they first watched this epic. They then attempt to navigate through the steeped history of the He-Man character, explaining his basic origins and his initial backstory that was set up by Mattel when they first launched the toyline, before DC Comics it picked up and developed the vast story. Dion and Blake also try and sum up the status of Cannon in the 80s and that company’s influence in cinema, and even to moviegoers of that decade and how these two unlikely bedfellows wanted to make the “Star Wars of the 1980s” (to quote the Cannon hype). And they also spell out how and why, Masters ended up being one of the building blocks that caused everything to come crashing down- ultimately junking a toyline as well as being part of completely tanking a film company. So how vast was the He-Man franchise in it’s heyday? What problems ended up plaguing the film production from day one? What other comic book and cartoon character’s film was actually in preproduction but ultimately ended up getting halted because of the financial problems of the imploding Cannon? And what was the planned sequel to Masters of the Universe that was actually in preproduction and also had to be scrapped, AND what did that script get retooled and eventually released as? Well get your battle swords, cosmic keys, and gather your fellow Eterians, because here comes another mind-blowing installment of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!
(*CORRECTION- Within the podcast the 1989 film The Punisher is commonly referred as being a Cannon film, when it was in fact a New World production. Our apologies. Thanks)
Have a look at this 2012 panel discussion of 1987 MOTU live action film!
Here’s a great behind-the-scenes circa 1987 documentary on the film!
Check out this awesome, retro poster of the many characters, vehicles and playsets of the He-Man universe.
To completely immerse yourself in anything and everything He-Man, check out the Grayskull: The He-Man and She-Ra Wiki site devoted to the franchise.
As discussed in the podcast, here’s Dion with legendary comic book artist Mark Texeira in 2014 at 4th Annual Comic Book Marketplace Comic Convention (photo taken by Blake).
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