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Masters Of The Universe 2


plot summary
"Albert Pyun directs the sequel, which takes the superhero to Earth disguised as a football quarterback." (Source: Los Angeles Times / January 24, 1988)
Albert Pyun


Dolph Lundgren / Laird Hamilton



Action / Sci-Fi

production co(s)

Cannon Group


$4.5 M


Wilmington Studios, North Carolina

news & updates

At a 1987 Cannes Festival press conference, producer Menahem Golan declared Dolph Lundgren would appear in three Masters of the Universe films. Lundgren let him talk silently and later denounced the mess on the set of the original. After he refused the sequel, it seems Cannon seeked desperately for a new He-Man and even published an ad in Premiere magazine...


"Cyborg" was a product of what could have been a career shifting period of my life. I knew that Cannon had the rights to "Spider-Man" and sequel rights to "Masters of the Universe". I also knew that the "Spider-Man" rights were about to expire. I proposed to Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus that I make both pictures back to back in North Carolina (at De Laurentiis' studio in Wilmington). Cannon agreed. And I cast both pictures. I can't remember who we cast for Peter Parker, but big wave surfer Laird Hamilton was cast as He-Man (replacing Dolph Lundgren).

Brooklyn sets for "Spider-Man" were built on the Wilmington stages and I had a number of creative discussions with Stan Lee and Joe Calamari of Marvel. I had wanted to use the Black Spidey costume, but this was vetoed. The script was based on the original story only. The budget was my largest at $6 million. "Masters of the Unverse 2" was based on my story. Sets and costumes were built. The film was fully cast. Mattel Toys had a great many approvals and it was a trying process getting everything okayed by the corporate giant. It had a budget of $4.5 million.

The concept was to shoot 2 weeks of "Spider-Man" first. The section of Peter Parker's story before he was bitten. Then we would shoot 6 weeks of "Masters 2". The actor cast to play Parker would undergo a streneuous 8 week workout regimen supervised by a fitness professor at UCLA, Dr. Eric Sternlicht to build size and muscle mass. After shooting "Masters 2" we would resume shooting "Spider-Man". Two weeks away from shooting, it was discovered that Cannon had bounced the rights check to Marvel, canceling the deal and it was discovered that Mattel was owed a large rights payment as well. With Cannon in deep financial straights, the negotiations with Marvel and Mattel fell apart! Remember this was 1988 and the junk bond market which had fueled Cannon's rise had collapsed.

Having spent well over $2 million on sets, costumes, and prep, Cannon was desperate to find away to recoup their spend. I suggested we do a film that could utilize as much of what had been built and prepped and that would cost very little in addition. I wrote a first draft of what became "Cyborg" over a weekend and brought in a young actor - who wanted to be a screenwriter - to do polishes. His name was Don Michael Paul and he has gone on to write and direct "Half Past Dead" and Harley Davidson and the "Marlboro Man".

I was interested in Chuck Norris to star as he was under contract to Cannon. Instead Menahem suggested a Belgian kickboxer they had just starred in "Bloodsport". That's how Van Damme became the lead. His accent was so thick, that we had to change the character from an over the hill ex-Army Ranger to what the Gibson character became. It pretty much gutted the character arc.

What I remember most from the film was exhaustion. The turnabout from prepping to shoot "Spider-Man" and "Masters 2" to writing and shooting "Cyborg" was punishing. We had to figure out ways to use what had been built and created for two different films in a short period of time. As I recall, the budget on "Cyborg" was less than $500,000 including Van Damme's salary. It was shot in 24 days of principal. All in all, my expectations were quite low for the film's success given the mad circumstances."
comments by Albert Pyun from La Cosa Fantastico, #113 July 2005 (translated from Spanish), Interview by Nicanor Loreti. Thanks to Mighty McT for providing the info!

"Laird Hamilton takes over Dolph Lundgren's He-Man role in Cannon's "Masters of the Universe II." Albert Pyun directs the sequel, which takes the superhero to Earth disguised as a football quarterback." (Source: Los Angeles Times / January 24, 1988) Thanks to Mighty McT for providing the info!

"At the time I was proposed it, I was shooting Red Scorpion. Masters of the Universe was a nightmare. 5 months of filming, 2 by night. The studio had big troubles and the budget was huge. And it was first starring role. It was very tough. In general I don't like myself on a screen, but there... There are yet some special effects, some sequences to save. Not more. I'd like to forget. On the other hand, it helped me in my career and taught me a lot. Masters of the Universe was number one in rental videos in England but I didn't get much money in the story. Anyway, what counts it what we want to become." Dolph Lundgren in Impact, #20, April 1989 (translated from French)

"Dolph Loundgroun will still shoot a few Masters of the Universe episodes, the company Cannon welcome him, we predict him a bright future." Menahem Golan in Starfix, special Action et Aventure #2, June 1989 (translated from French)

"Playing He-Man was pretty much my lowest point as an actor","it was a kids' movie. How much could I do as an actor when I was running around in swim trunks and chest armor? There was talk of my doing a second one, but I wasn't available, and from what I understand, the whole idea of a sequel fell through." Lundgren in Comics Scene, # 9, Summer 1989

"Very expensive, the film looses a few million dollars, which doesn't keep Golan from announcing its sequel, that Albert Pyun must direct. Aware of his hunk hero's lack of personality, Swedish Dolph Lundgren refuses categoricaly to retake service, denouncing monstrous mess that reigned on the set" from Mad Movies, # 61, September 1989 (translated from French)

"Masters of the Universe, Red Scorpion 2, The Punisher 2 and even the sequel of Cover Up... The list of sequels projects on Dolph's agent desk is long." from Impact, # 30, December 1990 (translated from French)

"It is said you needed change as the shooting of Masters of the Universe ended... -Yes. At this time, I knew I wouldn't do in any case a sequel, which would bring me to B movies or worse. I had to change. I wanted to be able to play any kinds of roles. I can do love films, comedies, drama, not only action films." from Cine-News, #28, January 1991 (translated from French)

"Originally, there were plans to make a sequel to that dreadful live-action MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE movie! They already had the sets ready when the project fell apart. They still had these sets they had spent money on, and Golan-Globus aren't guys to let things go to waste, so they decided to put together another film project with the specific purpose of using those sets. That movie, born from the ashes of the never produced MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE sequel, is the Albert Pyun masterpiece CYBORG, starring master thespian Jean-Claude Van Damme!"



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