‘Masters Of The Universe:’ Would It Work Better On Television?

Masters of the Universe may be on the verge of signing Charlie’s Angels director McG for the troubled reboot that has gone through a plethora of writing and directing talent over the years, according to HitFix.

This follows the even older failure of 1987’s Cannon Group adaptation that kept very little of what made the cartoon so popular.

Presumably, this time around, the powers that be will make something more faithful to the source material, and with McG on the verge of being the guy to make it happen, fans are starting to get hopeful again.

It could be that cineplexes are the wrong place for Masters of the Universe, especially during the current TV renaissance. Many talents — McG included — have proven themselves more capable on the small-screen venue.

With 169 episodes as executive producer of Supernatural to his credit, McG has a better reputation at the home box office than he does the theatrical. His Charlie’s Angels films as well as Terminator: Salvation, We Are Marshall, and This Means War have had a difficult time garnering critical support and fan enthusiasm.

Many of the fans who hang on to every episode of Supernatural and regret the too-early cancellation of Human Target, are the same ones who bemoan the existence of Terminator: Salvation.

Rather than change directors again, the Masters of the Universe film might be better served with McG at the helm, but abandoning the big screen for Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime. After all, overseeing a longer form story seems to be what he does well.

How could Masters of the Universe actually benefit on the small screen? Here are some possibilities.

Budgetary Constraints

Some might not see this as a benefit, but Hollywood has churned out a lot of subpar big-budget comic book stuff over the years, and much of it has failed because filmmakers have spent less time on creativity and storytelling and more time on ridiculous set-pieces.

If Masters of the Universe went to television, it would force directors and writers to slow down and tell more coherent stories.

Ability to Give Each Character Their Due

One of the big draws of Masters of the Universe has been the colorful assortment of characters. Even when characters are absurd, they are full of imagination. With a well-staffed writing team and an experienced showrunner at the helm, the television series could take its time putting the spotlight on each of these over-the-top creations, giving them more depth than what is possible in a two-hour film.

Time to Develop Its Fanbase

Star Wars may have been a huge success upon its initial release, but it’s unlikely The Phantom Menace would have grossed $1 billion had Lucas came out with it a couple of years after Return of the Jedi.

He took his time to develop the universe beyond those initial three films and was eventually able to sell it all to Disney for $4 billion.

Masters of the Universe could benefit from this logic.

The series can be really weird — some might even say an acquired taste — with characters like Mer-Man, Trapjaw, and Man-E-Faces. In fact, MoviePilot has an interesting history on just what that is.

Stuff all these creations into a two-hour, over-budgeted film, and it’s likely you’ll have a lot of confused faces that would have otherwise become new fans if given the proper time to care about these creations and the world they inhabit.

A 10-episode run on Netflix with a reasonable budget and character-driven stories instead of FX-driven, and Masters of the Universe could be ready to rise beyond the nostalgia factor currently keeping it on life support.

What do you think, readers?

Would you like to see a live-action Masters of the Universe movie or television show? Sound off in the comments section below.

[Image via Masters of the Universe screen grab]