1987’s Masters of the Universe is an awesome movie – and I’ll fight anyone who says otherwise. The film’s mix of sci-fi, sorcery and ’80s hair styles makes it a cult classic that deserves to be remembered with some of the decade’s finest films.

If you’ve stumbled across this post then chances are you’re a fan too. Want to know more about Masters of the Universe?

Of course you do!

Here are 18 facts about the film!


Facts about 1987’s Masters of the Universe

Image: ©Warner Bros. Pictures

Who wrote and directed Masters of the Universe?

Masters of the Universe was written by David Odell and was directed by Gary Goddard. To date, Masters of the Universe is the only movie directed by Goddard.


Who produced Masters of the Universe?

Masters of the Universe was originally intended to be a Warner Bros picture, but Warner Bros stopped the project early into pre-production. When production re-started, the film was in the hands of Yoram Globus and Menahem Golan of Cannon Films. Now that Cannon Films is no longer around, Warner Bros. Pictures currently has the rights to the movie.

Who played the role of He-Man in Masters of the Universe?

Dolph Lundgren played the part of He-Man in Masters of the Universe. Lundgren is known for roles which have included Ivan Drago in Rocky IV (1985) & Creed II (2018), Frank Castle/The Punisher in the Punisher (1989) and Gunner Jensen in The Expendables series (2010 – 2014).


Who played Skeletor?

Frank Langella took on the role of He-Man’s mortal enemy, Skeletor – a role which Langella reportedly regards as one of his all-time favourite parts.

Does Masters of the Universe share a connection with Friends?

Yes – yes it does! Courteney Cox plays the role of Julie Winston in Masters of the Universe, while Christine Pickles plays the Sorceress. On the hit TV show Friends, Cox played Monica Gellar and Pickles played her mother, Judy.

Does Masters of the Universe share a connection with Star Trek?

Yes! The role of Kevin Corrigan is played by Robert Duncan McNeill. McNeill is perhaps best known as Lieutenant Tom Paris in Star Trek: Voyager.

But that’s not all – Teela actress, Chelsea Field, is married to actor, Scott Bakula. Bakula played Captain Archer on the Trek show, Enterprise.


Why does most of Masters of the Universe take place on Earth, rather than Eternia?

The film largely takes place on Earth because of its limited budget. Speaking in the book, The Art of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, director Gary Goddard, said: “Due to budgetary issues – the film was to be done for $15,000,000 or less – the idea was to bring the Eternians to present-day Earth. I liked the fish-out-of-water approach, but I thought we had to ground it in some part in Eternia. I devised a way to have the opening and closing in Eternia, with the rest of the movie located on present-day Earth, and that’s how we bookended the movie.”


Which characters from the original cartoon appear in the movie?

He-Man, Skeletor, Teela, Man-At-Arms, Beast Man, Evil-Lyn and the Sorceress all appeared in the original cartoon and toy line.

Are Karg, Blade and Gwildor original characters?

Yes. Karg, Blade, Gwildor and Saurod were all created for the movie.

Image: ©Warner Bros. Pictures

Were any characters cut from the movie?

Not cut, but other characters were considered for inclusion in the film. Arachno – a man with the eyes and poison mandibles of a giant spider – and Mantoid – a cyborg with infrared vision, were all in early drafts of the script.

In addition to these characters, early concept drawings featured classic He-Man vehicles the Talon Fighter, the Wind Raider and the Attak Trak. None of the vehicles appeared in the finished film.


Why isn’t Orko in Masters of the Universe?

Budget reasons (again). Orko was deemed too costly to appear on the big screen, so the character of Gwildor, as played by actor Billy Barty, was used in his place.

Was artist Ralph McQuarrie involved with Masters of the Universe?

Yes. Skeletor’s Air Centurions were designed by Ralph McQuarrie.


Does Castle Grayskull appear in the movie?

Yes, there are a number of scenes set within Castle Grayskull, however the exterior of the castle can be seen only once in the movie. In the film, the exterior of Castle Grayskull is represented by a matte painting – an image painted onto glass and added into live-action footage.

Image: ©Warner Bros. Pictures

What does Masters of the Universe have to do with Rodney King?

Scenes featuring fast food restaurant, Robby’s Ribs ‘n’ Chicken, were shot on the site where four years later, African American taxi driver, Rodney King was arrested and beaten by officers of the Los Angeles Police Department.

Is it true that the movie ran out of money before the final battle between He-Man and Skeletor was filmed?

Yes. Due to Cannon Films’ ongoing financial problems the final battle between He-Man and Skeletor had to be completed in a day (or it wouldn’t be completed at all). Director Gary Goddard came back to the scene two months after filming had completed to ensure there was a fitting conclusion. Goddard contributed part of his salary in order to finish the scene.


Who composed the music for the film?

Bill Conti composed the music for Masters of the Universe. Amongst a long list of credits, Conti is best known for his work on the Rocky films.

Who created the poster for Masters of the Universe?

That would be legendary poster artist, Drew Struzan. Masters of the Universe artist, Earl Norem also produced a poster for the movie.


And finally, was there ever a sequel to Masters of the Universe?

No, one was in the pipeline but the financial problems of Cannon Films put an end to the project. Costumes and sets were created for a Masters sequel, but when it didn’t go ahead they were re-used for the low-budget Jean-Claude Van Damme movie, Cyborg (1989).

Read more: