From an interview of Cannon Films director Albert Pyun for Spanish horror film magazine "La Cosa":
"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.
Last edited by StratosMacca; May 18, 2007 at 10:16am. Reason: Picture added.
Which a quick search, there are several detailed threads on the whole Spiderman / Masters of the Universe II / Cyborg thing.
Cyborg was on Channel 5 here (UK) a few years ago; but I'd just started a new job and fell asleep that evening, not spotting in the listings tha it had been on until the next day. Dammit!
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Good reading indeed!
I heard some details about this but never in such a precise way. The story of all these American International, American Cinema and other Yoram-Globus production are often as fun as the movie themselves. Often more interesting, in fact!
I'm a big fan of cheapo Cannon film, and watching MOTU the movie with the Cannon catalog in mind make it much more fun.
- Dr Bo.
Man of Kitsch, Robot and Glamour. And some barbarians hero, too.
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Interesting indeed. I've seen Cyborg several times, and actually enjoyed it once-(alcohol & left handed cigarettes were involved). Canon put out some "classic" stuff in the late 80's. I was "entertained" by many of their films back in the day. It's hard to imagine what their take on Spiderman would have been like. Probably not much worse than Corman's Fantastic 4 flick was!
This makes sense. MOTU 2 was mostly on earth. A lot of it in Office buildings, etc.
Nothing plot-wise about Cyborg has anything to do with MOTU 2.
I am really curious to see some of the Mattel approval stuff. I wonder if they had planned to make figures of Dark, Malan and the cyborgs..
Just found this.
Very interesting. I wonder if it would be worth checking out to see the sets & props that could have been in those movies. Obviously it's not a "Masters 2" but might be fun to watch anyway.
From my youth and hometown when I was a kid...He-Matt and the Masters of the Kunaverse!
My feedback thread: http://www.he-man.org/forums/boards/...d.php?t=214152
My customs thread: http://www.he-man.org/forums/boards/...d.php?t=215292
My B/S/T thread: http://www.he-man.org/forums/boards/...ings-For-Sale!
You just made me add Cyborg to my instant queue.
Please visit my store for custom MOTUC accessories and services.
Last edited by Captain Atkin; February 2, 2013 at 12:53pm.
For some reason (I'm guessing someone who was a MOTU fan and worked there put it in as an in-joke) but when I first got Dish Network in the late 90s, whenever Cyborg was shown on TV it was listed in their print "TV Guide"-type magazine as Masters of the Universe 2: Cyborg.
MOTUC Wishlist Dylamug, Songster, Evil Robot, Tuvar and Badra, Game Master, Grayskull Robot, Karg, Andros, Monstroid, the new villains from He-Ro/Dare
Thanks for sharing. I tried watching Cyborg a little while back but laundry and napping got in the way of giving the film undivided attention.
Albert Pyun gives a bit more (yet still being vague about it) details on what would have been his MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE 2 in his audio commentary of CYBORG's director's cut, now released on German and Austrian discs. He notably said he wanted to make it darker and explore He-Man's and Skeletor's personalities but it also seems it would have gone even further away from the original universe (and even more set on Earth)...