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How Masters of the Universe Was Almost Like a New Gods Film…in 1987

by  in CBR Exclusives Comment
How Masters of the Universe Was Almost Like a New Gods Film…in 1987

Knowledge Waits is a feature where I just share some bit of comic book history that interests me.

With the news of Ava DuVernay directing an upcoming New Gods film for Warner Bros, CBR managing editor, Albert Ching, asked me to revisit a classic Comic Book Legends Revealed about how a 1987 film was, in a way, a New Gods films over thirty years ago!

RELATED: Ava DuVernay to Direct DC’s The New Gods Movie for Warner Bros.

In the mid 1980s, Cannon Films was riding high. Their strategy of making lots of low-budget films was working out, as their Chuck Norris films were making HUGE money on extremely small budgets. Here’s the thing, though, their entire strategy was making lots of cheap films so that they only needed one of them to hit it big to pay off everything else. Now that they were making so much money off of their Chuck Norris films, they decided to start spending more money….a LOT more money.

In the mid-1980s, the hottest new media franchise was Masters of the Universe. Cannon outbid everyone to get the license to turn the toy line into a film. Here’s the thing, though, the owners of Cannon knew nothing about Masters of the Universe. They just knew that it was popular. When they then got a chance to take over production on the next Superman film, they quickly agreed (they knew who Superman was, ya know?). They spent so much money when both films disappointed at the box office, Cannon went out of business.

But anyhow, since they didn’t really know the material, director Gary Goddard and writer David Odell had a lot of freedom with the film, creatively…

Okay, so I know what you’re thinking, “Gotcha, Brian, Masters of the Universe was barely like the Masters of the Universe TV series, but so what?”

Aha, but that’s where the New Gods tie-in!

Go to the next page to see Gary Goddard write about how the film was essentially an ode to Jack Kirby…

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