Netflix Loses Another Iconic Action Franchise to Amazon

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Prime Video and Netflix logos combined into one image

Credit: Prime Video/Netflix

Netflix is losing ground against its rival streaming services fast, and now it seems it will be giving up a beloved action franchise to Amazon Prime Video.

In recent months, Netflix executives have all but admitted that the company’s rapid production of original movies and TV series is grinding to a halt as they realize some quality control is necessary. At the same time, the streaming company is losing some of its most acclaimed and popular shows as Stranger Things is scheduled to end after one more season, and the Jenna Ortega series Wednesday seems to be fraught with delays and cast changes.

Jenna Ortega as Wednesday Addams with Thing
Credit: Netflix

With all of that in mind, you would think that Netflix would be trying to keep a hold of its most recognizable IP, but the opposite seems to be happening.

Related: Netflix Gets Called Out by King of England, Legal Doom Ahead

Netflix announced that it was developing new projects based around the popular Mattel media franchise Masters of the Universe all the way back in 2019. It had an ambitious slate of ideas for the IP, which had a heydey of popularity in the 1980s but had stuck in popular consciousness in a big way since then.

Prince Adam transforming into He-Man in the original series
Credit: Filmation

The streaming platform eventually produced several different series, beginning with the critically acclaimed She-Ra and the Princesses of Power. Netflix followed that up with the Kevin Smith mature-oriented Masters of the Universe: Revelation series, which featured Chris Wood as He-Man/Prince Adam and Mark Hamill as the cackling villain Skeletor, and then the more child-friendly CGI He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, featuring Yuri Lowenthal.

Prince Adam in Masters of the Universe: Revelation for Netflix
Credit: Netflix

At the same time, a live-action Masters of the Universe film has been in development for years, first by Sony Pictures and intended to star Noah Centineo as Prince Adam. Since that fell through, Netflix has been working with directors Adam and Aaron Nee for a new adaptation starring Kyle Allen.

Prince Adam in the CGI He-Man and the Masters of the Universe for Netflix
Credit: Netflix

Reportedly, Netflix sunk a staggering $30 million into developing the live-action Masters of the Universe film and canceled the film when it was estimated to cost some $200 million to produce.

Related: ‘Stranger Things’ Crosses Over With ‘He-Man’

Now, according to Variety, Amazon Prime Video is looking to sweep in and snap up the Masters of the Universe film, even if it does have a gargantuan budget. Notably, Amazon’s head of theatrical film and streaming, Courtenay Valenti, was previously involved in Warner Bros massive hit Barbie, which is also a Mattel toy line.

Margot Robbie as Barbie
Credit: Warner Bros.

Mattel is clearly looking to expand its vast catalog of recognizable toy merchandise into a huge universe of films, and it seems like Amazon is ready to take after Warner Bros. It has not yet been confirmed that Amazon has licensed the rights to the property (which has a notoriously tangled ownership history), but if it does, it’s certain that it wants to turn Masters of the Universe into the next Barbie.

Can He-Man compete with Barbie at the box office? Use the power of Castle Grayskull to comment below!

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