It was 28 years ago on Friday that Cannon Films released Masters of the Universe, starring Frank Langella and Dolph Lundgren. Based on the Mattel toy line of the same name, this film — along with Superman IV: The Quest for Peace — was supposed to propel Cannon from a low-budget B-movie factory into a major Hollywood studio. Needless to say, this didn’t work and everybody died.
Okay, nothing that dramatic, but it still wasn’t nearly the success Cannon had hoped for. Still, even after nearly 30 years, Masters of the Universe has a cult following and a fond place in the memories of those of us who dragged our parents to see it when we were kids. To recap, take a look back at five interesting facts about the film that you may or may not already know.
Frank Langella loved playing Skeletor.
When a movie based on an existing license comes out — especially a toy license like Masters of the Universe — they often get a big name actor to fill a major role, just for the name recognition. As great of a job as they usually do — Super Mario Brothers might have been terrible, for example, but it’s hard to deny that Dennis Hopper was awesome in it — you never hear them talk about what a great experience it was.
Not so with Frank Langella, however. The Tony-winning/Oscar-nominated actor has mentioned in the past about how much fun he had playing the role. He originally took the role because his then-4-year-old son was such a fan of the franchise. However, he had so much fun playing the character that he was disappointed that the sequel teased at the end of the movie never took place.