Dolph Lundgren Says He Might Return For A New He-Man Movie If The Costume Leaves Him Less Exposed Than He Was In ‘Masters Of The Universe’

More Lundgren-less Orm
Nereus (Dolph Lundgren) meets with Orm (Patrick Wilson) in Aquaman (2018), Warner Bros. Pictures

1987’s Masters of the Universe wouldn’t be everyone’s first choice for a film that would go on to become an undisputed cult hit. That it was an adaptation of the He-Man toy line which was popular at the time is notwithstanding on that count.

He-Man and Man At Arms in Masters of the Universe: Revelation (2021), Netflix
He-Man (Chris Wood) and Man At Arms (Liam Cunningham) in Masters of the Universe: Revelation (2021), Netflix

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Nevertheless, the movie managed to develop and maintain a following, aided by its status as a product of the 80s associated with a major IP and one of the most infamous purveyors of low-budget schlock – Cannon Films.

It also starred Dolph Lundgren in what is arguably his most pivotal role after Ivan Drago in Rocky IV. He would reprise the latter in Creed II once legacy sequels, much like reboots, became big business. 

While that’s been a boon to the Rocky series, we’re still waiting for a MOTU follow-up of some kind. To date, Lundgren’s turn is the only live-action adaptation of He-Man.

The critical reception and its performance in theaters back then have a lot to do with that. While a sequel was in the works, Mattel pulled the plug as Cannon’s debts mounted. The back to back failures of Masters and Superman IV ultimately tanked the studio, taking with it the chance of a Spider-Man movie before 2002.

Late Captain America (the one starring Matt Salinger and Ronny Cox) filmmaker Alber Pyun made the best of the situation and gave Jean-Claude Van Damme another movie to hang his hat on with Cyborg – but that is another story.

Rocky IV (1985) - MGM
Dolph Lundgren as Ivan Drago in Rocky IV (1985), MGM

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Despite this entire debacle, Lundgren would be willing to stage a comeback in the series after nearly forty years as a grizzled older He-Man – just under one condition which he shared with And that is more clothing.

“[An] Older He-Man? I don’t know,” he said. “As long as… my costume can be a little more substantial. It was about the size of a stamp, in those days. I think I’d just have to add a few layers of costume.” 

Taking the sword-and-sandal aspect of the picture literally, we imagine, the costume department left the towering Swede wearing little more than your average pro wrestler for most of the runtime – minus the cape he had in a few scenes.

Machine gun preacher
Dolph Lundgren is the Street Preacher prepping for more than a spiritual battle in Johnny Mnemonic (1995), TriStar Pictures

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He-Man may “have the power” but he was never renowned for being a fashionista. His attire was always kept simple back then, and it wasn’t until later iterations that layers, such as pants, were added to his overall look.

Other than Kevin Smith’s Netflix animated show that leaves fans divided, every attempt to remake Masters of the Universe has failed. Noah Centineo (Black Adam) was attached for a while, but that effort by Netflix went nowhere quickly.

Expendable Dolph
Dolph Lundgren in Expend4bles (2023), Lions Gate Films

Now, MGM/Amazon is picking up the Sword of Power and bringing in some serious help to wield it. The Lost City directors Aaron and Adam Nee are rumored to be helming the project with a script by Dave Callaham (Shang-Chi), David Goyer, and Matt Holloway (Iron Man).

NEXT: Dolph Lundgren Speaks On Alec Baldwin Rust Shooting: “It’s A Serious Business Having Real Firearms On A Film Set”

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