Dolph Lundgren was almost given the nickname
Although his performance is now considered the main event of the Masters of the Universe, Dolph Lundgren was almost eliminated in the final cut.
Masters of the Universe was one of three 1987 low-budget Cannon Pictures films (the other two were Over the roof and Superman IV: The Quest for Peace). They were meant to be their version of Star wars, boasting a big budget (for Cannon) and high production values. It was based on the toys and the cartoon series He-Man and the Masters of the Universe by Mattel, but the film had a very rocky road to the big screen. Although it is now considered a camp classic, due primarily to the involvement of Dolph Lundgren, at the time, many believed that his performance helped to set the film in motion. He almost ended up being named in the final cut.
Of course, in the documentary Toy masters (reported by THR), Mattel executives found Lundgren’s accent unintelligible, and director Gary Goddard wanted him to be nicknamed. “We actually took a few actors in for a loop test, to show the studio, and one of them was flawless,” Goddard says. Lundgren couldn’t bend it because, with his contract, he got three attempts to bend the conversation himself, and finally, the producer Menahem Golan decided to stick with Lundgren.
While some like to poke fun at Lundgren’s line readings in the film, it’s hard to imagine another actor’s voice coming out of his mouth. Lundgren’s accent isn’t even that thick, and he’s far from the only action star of the era with an accent. One thing Goddard and Mattel executives don’t admit is how the movie almost always ends up being a disaster when it comes to a famous actor. This happened twice in 1980, with Harvey Keitel named as Saturn 3 and Sam J. Jones nominated for Flash Gordonand again in 1981 when Klinton Spilsbury was named the director in The Legend of the Lone Ranger. In 1984, Andie MacDowell was nominated as Glenn Close for Greystroke: The Legend of Tarzan, and sure enough, that set her career back years. In the end, Lundgren’s voice suited the role well, and he went on to a stellar career as a B-action star in such classics as Red Scorpion and more.
Do you think Dolph should be nominated for Masters of the Universe? Let us know in the comments.