James Cameron took the action of Alien to the next
As a young boy, Masters of The Universe had to be the most anticipated film in all my brief time on this planet. As an avid He-Man fan, I could not wait to see him on screen, with all of his friends and enemies. But, even as a seven-year-old, while I watched it, I knew something wasn’t right…
Masters of The Universe was a failed attempt at a franchise starter, and it subsequently affected Superman IV. Here are 9 facts about He-Man and the Masters…
1. Mattel, the toy company that produced the original He-Man toys, ran a contest where the winner would get a role in the new He-Man movie. But since the movie was already under the gun to be finished in time and over budget, director Gary Goddard had to squeeze in the contest winner into the shoot. The winner, Richard Szponder, is featured as “Pigboy” who hands Skeletor his staff when he returns from Earth.
2. Gary Goddard had planned to have all of Dolph Lundgren’s lines dubbed by another actor, as Lundgren had only limited acting experience, a thick Swedish accent, and was not yet fluent in English during filming. Lundgren, however, had stipulated in his contract that he would have at least three opportunities to re-dub his lines in post-production. With the film running behind schedule, Goddard decided to use Lundgren’s natural voice instead.
3. Cannon Films originally had plans to make a Spider-Man movie but opted instead to take the money and split it in two for two other films: Superman IV: The Quest for Peace and Masters of the Universe. The plan was to take the profits from both movies and make a large-budget Spider-Man movie. Both movies bombed at the box-office and the Cannon-produced Spider-Man movie never materialized.
4. A sequel was already written for the film, and the Spider-Man film and this sequel would be filmed simultaneously. Sets were built, and surfer Laird Hamilton was cast as the replacement for Lundgren as He-Man. Eventually, Cannon Films would go out of business, and the films never happened.
5. Frank Langella went on record in an interview stating that playing Skeletor was one of his favorite roles. His young son was a huge fan and was running around the house shouting “By the power of Grayskull”, so he took the role for him. He wrote some of his lines, like: “Tell me about the loneliness of good, He-Man. Is it equal to the loneliness of evil?”
6. Due to financial difficulties, Cannon Cinema made a decision to discontinue all filming 3 days before its scheduled end, leaving the movie in a quandary. All the climactic scenes were completed bar the final battle and resolution between He-Man and Skeletor. After 2 months, the Cannon Cinema executives allowed Gary Goddard to film the ending in a complete, albeit rushed manner.
7. Gary Goddard tried to dedicate the film to American comic book artist Jack Kirby in the closing credits, but the studio took the credit out.
8. Anthony De Longis, who played the character of Blade, trained Dolph Lundgren in the use of a sword as well as choreograph the sword fight between He-Man and Blade and the climatic duel between He-Man and Skeletor. De Longis also played Skeletor during this final fight instead of Frank Langella.
9. The Throne Room set of Castle Grayskull originally were two large, adjoining sound stages. The wall between the sets was knocked down to make one gigantic sound stage. At that time, it was the largest set Hollywood had seen in over forty years.