The big-screen reboot of the classic cartoon and toy line Masters of the Universe has lost its director. In December, it was reported that Man of Steel and The Dark Knight writer David S. Goyer was in talks to helm the movie, which has been in development for many years. But according to Variety, he now stepped away from the project.
The site states that Goyer has left the Masters of the Universe reboot because of "other commitments." Goyer was already involved with writing the movie and had delivered a draft of the script last fall. Variety reports that the studio was so impressed with it that it asked him to also direct, but this will no longer happen.
Goyer was the second director to be associated to the project, following Terminator: Salvation's McG, who was briefly attached in 2016. In August 2015, it was reported that Thor writer Christopher Yost was working on the script, but it is unknown what stage this reached. The film is currently scheduled for a 2019 release.
Mattel launched the Masters of the Universe toy line in 1982, creating a mythology about the conflict between good and evil on the planet of Eternia. A cartoon based on the property, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, ran for two years, in addition to a comic book series, a spin-off animation called She-Ra: Princess of Power, and a number of video games.
In 1987, Cannon Films produced a live-action movie version, starring Dolph Lundgren as muscle-bound hero He-Man. By that point, however, the popularity of Masters of the Universe was in decline, and the toys were discontinued the following year. Subsequent attempts to revive the franchise included a new toy line and a short-lived second animated series in the early 2000s.
In related news, the first trailer for one of Goyer's other projects, the Superman prequel show Krypton, was released in December. The show takes a look at life on Superman's home planet before its destruction, and it is set to premiere on SyFy later 2018.