David S. Goyer passes on directing Masters of the Universe

Variety is now reporting that David S. Goyer has dropped out of Sony’s Masters of the Universe movie because of “other commitments.” Goyer was first attached to direct the movie in November of 2017 after he turned in a forest draft of the script that Sony was reportedly happy with. The studio was set to begin casting the movie before Goyer announced that he was leaving the project. Scheduling is being cited for Goyer’s departure from the project, as he has a busy TV schedule as executive producer on SyFy’s Superman spin-off Krypton.

Masters of the Universe is scheduled for a December 18, 2019 release date, and the studio will need to find a new director quickly if they want to keep that date. The upcoming movie is based on the popular Mattel toy line, and spawned several animated series (including the spin-off cartoon series She-Ra: Princess of Power), along with a 1987 live-action film starring Dolph Lundgren as He-Man and Frank Langella as Skeletor.

The main premise of the series revolves around the conflict between the heroic warrior He-Man and the evil Skeletor on the planet Eternia, with a vast line-up of supporting characters. Masters of the Universe takes place in a hybrid setting of medieval sword and sorcery and sci-fi technology.

Escape Artists’ Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal and Steve Tisch are producing the film. Mattel’s Julia Pistor and David Voss will executive produce on behalf of the toy company. Matthew Milam (The Hitman’s Bodyguard) will oversee the project for the studio.